Sisterhood a Sentimental Success
Jordan Gamble | Friday, September 12, 2008
Four friends, three years later, same pair of pants.Taking storylines from the final three books of the bestselling series by Ann Brashares, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” follows much the same formula as the first movie. Four girls, friends from birth (literally: their moms took prenatal yoga together), spend their summer apart but keep up with each other by way of a pair of jeans they mail back and forth to each other. Why jeans? Because the pants magically fit every girl perfectly despite their different shapes and sizes.
For every girl who cried like a baby when watching the first Sisterhood film, fear not: the second installment in the movie series does not disappoint on the drama.
Lena (Alexis Bledel) is still in love with her Greek ex-boyfriend, Kostos, but he’s already gotten married. Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) has a pregnancy scare. Bridget (Blake Lively) goes to an archaeology camp in Turkey but sneaks away to Alabama to meet her estranged grandmother. Carmen (America Ferrera), depressed because the other three girls are off at various summer schools, decides to follow a college friend to a summer theatre program and ends up landing the lead role in a production of The Winter’s Tale.
Director Sanaa Hamri follows diligently in the stylistic footsteps of Ken Kwapis, the first film’s director, competently juggling four storylines and generally making a very pretty movie, especially when the girls all go to Greece. The pacing is usually brisk and engaging, although there are parts that stumble. Lively’s character is almost given too much to do, what with an international excursion and unearthing a family secret, which makes the film feel a little lopsided at times.
The Kleenex moments are often but never cheap, and it’s really a testament to the actors that the drama rings true. Tamblyn as the “rebel” Tibby stands out in a performance that is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
Hamri gets the most out of a talented cast, with help from Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo as the head archaeologist at Bridget’s camp and Blythe Danner as Bridget’s grandmother Greta.
When the first film came out, Bledel and Tamblyn were the big television stars, on “Gilmore Girls” and “Joan of Arcadia”, respectively. But both those shows got cancelled. Now Ferrera is the star of “Ugly Betty” and Lively has shot to fame with “Gossip Girl”.
This change in fortune doesn’t make any impact on “Sisterhood” – the actors still inhabit the same characters they did in the first film, albeit a little more grown up. “Sisterhood” is a well-crafted movie – maybe not for everyone (obstinate boyfriends in particular), but heartfelt and worth seeing.