Movie Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Ah, the wonders of a great pair of jeans. It can make even those of us non-model types look trim and shapely.
And in the case of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it also can help four teenage girls cope with a multitude of growing pains -- from finding first love to a parent's remarriage.
The result is a film that will make tween girls squeal and sob in all of the right places, despite its predictability.
Based on the book by Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants focuses on Carmen (America Ferrera), Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Lena (Alexis Bledel) and Bridget (Blake Lively), four best friends who are spending their first summer apart since their pregnant mothers took the same aerobics class.
Before everyone parts, they find a pair of pants in a boutique that mysteriously fits their different body shapes. The girls decide to share the magical pants during the summer, mailing them with notes on their adventures.
Carmen is heading to South Carolina to spend a whole summer with her father, who left her mother when Carmen was a child. Ferrera, who was excellent in Real Women Have Curves, shines as the half- Puerto Rican daughter who doesn't fit in with her father's new blonde family.
Tamblyn does a nice turn as Tibby, a punkster and an aspiring filmmaker. She is the only friend to remain in Bethesda, Md., for the summer, working at a supermarket to save money for new film equipment. At the hated job, she meets a 9-year-old who changes her life.
Bledel is Lena, who travels to Greece to become better acquainted with her grandparents. In the process, she meets a Greek man who teaches her about herself.
Lively is soccer star Bridget, who has tried to ignore her mother's suicide by pursuing boys, only to discover they can't heal the pain.
Devotees of the book might be disappointed to find that director Ken Kwapis has taken some liberties in his script. In the book, Lena's grandparents adore the Greek boy, Kostos. In the film, they forbid her to see him on the basis of a feud with his grandparents.
And although the film is not likely to win any awards -- save perhaps for MTV's Best Kiss in a movie -- it is a breezy and fun introduction to the summer movie season.