The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
I have a confession to
However, before that,
perhaps a little background is necessary. I am a regular adult man.
I am no fan of "chick flicks." I hate it when movies get overly sappy
or try too hard to pull on the heartstrings.
All that said, here is my
deep, dark admission:
I absolutely love the first
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie.
Not just like. I
think it is a truly fantastic piece of filmmaking. It is quite
possibly one of the best friendship and family dramas of recent years.
Definitely on my list of guilty pleasures.
Looking back on my review
of the original film, though the write-up was positive I'm not sure I really
captured how truly good the film was. Maybe even on that first viewing
its quality hadn't totally sunk in on me.
However, over the three
years since I originally saw Traveling Pants, I have caught it a few
more times on video or cable and it has just deepened my appreciation for
the heart, wit, sadness, beauty and craft of the film.
Last year, when
I heard the announcement that they were making a sequel of the film - with
the same cast - it left me with a mixture of excitement and dread.
Excitement because I want to know what has happened to these young women in
the three years since the first film. Dread because I'm afraid if they
screw up the delicate balance of the original and make a weak sequel, it may
even taint the original film for me.
Therefore, despite the fact
that there are lots of bigger-named, more-hyped films hitting the cineplex
at about the same time, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 has been
high up on my list of must-see movies for the summer.
I am happy to say that the
film is for the most part not a disappointment. Granted, the sequel isn't quite as good as the
original, but it is engaging enough on its own. The storyline is a bit
more disjointed than the first film, in which everything made sense and led
to inevitable and yet not overly predictable conclusions. The movie
also has to do more heavy lifting for less emotional pay-off.
It is also more
specifically targeted straight to women - I saw the film at a packed Friday
night (date night!) showing in Los Angeles with a friend and his wife, and
my friend and I were the only two men in the theater. In fact, during
one poignant love scene, a teen girl sitting right behind me giggled to her
friend, "This is such a chick flick!"
Still, I'm glad to return
to the lives of Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bridget.
A lot has changed in the
three years since the first Sisterhood - even with the cast.
When the first film was made the bigger names were Alexis Bledel of
Gilmore Girls and Amber Tamblyn of Joan of Arcadia. Now,
both of those shows are long off the air and the then-relatively-unknown co-stars
are now starring in buzz series - America Ferrara in Ugly Betty and
Blake Lively in Gossip Girl.
Pants 2 verifies
what the first film hinted at - that the heart and soul of the series are
Tamblyn and Ferrara. The other two girls are fine if slightly bland
(Lively in particular seems less interesting than in the first go-around)
but Tamblyn and Ferrara are so naturally likable and intriguing that they
steal every scene they get.
The sisterhood and the
pants take a bit of a beating in this chapter of the tale. The pants
are more of an afterthought. We see the girls periodically wearing the
pants, or mailing them to each other, even once in a while getting comments
about them - however unlike the first film, they just seem to be along for
the ride. The magic - if it was ever there - seems to be gone.
In fact the last great piece of magic they supposedly did this time around
happened after the pants were lost - seemingly for good.
As far as the sisterhood,
it seems to be a bit fractured. Not that it wasn't in the first film -
the whole point of that story was that it was the first summer where the
four girls were apart and through the pants they formed a bond. That
bond now seems even more tattered than the pants.
All four girls are going to
college at different places. After their first year of classes three
of them make plans to be away even for the summer. This angers Carmen
(Ferrara) - but she soon goes to Connecticut to work on a play - and is
shocked to win a leading role. Tibby (Tamblyn) is in Greenwich
Village, taking a screenwriting course at NYU and weathering a pregnancy
scare with her now boyfriend Brian (Nam). (They were just friends in
the first film.) Lena (Bledel) finds out that her Greek boyfriend has
gotten married and goes away to take a course painting - and becomes
involved with the figure model. Bridget (Lively) somehow gets onto an
archeological expedition (there was no hint that she was interested in this
previously) - where she realizes that she must come to terms with her
mother's suicide an the grandmother she never really got to know (Blythe
As they are living their
lives there is much less communication and bonding between the girls than
previously - which is sad but also rather realistic. Finally, towards
the end the four reunite at Lena's family compound in Greece - getting at
least one last chance to be there for each other before life possibly pulls
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: July 20, 2008.