"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is one of those films that is very hard for a 23-year old guy to review - after all, no matter how good it is I'm just not going to fall within the target demographic. In fact, I probably would never have even watched the film to begin with had I not known someone in the film (Kristie Marsden, who has a small speaking role). That being said, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is a pretty decent film, and probably a must-see for early-teen girls.
"Traveling Pants" follows the adventures of four girls who have been close friends since childhood but are now finally going their separate ways as they become young adults. Lena (Alexis Bledel) is moving to Italy for the summer; Bridget (Blake Lively) is going down to Mexico for soccer camp; Carmen (America Ferrera) is attempting to get closer to her all-but-estranged father; and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) is staying at home to work in a grocery store. While all four girls are going to be in different parts of the world, they stay connected by passing on a pair of "magical" pants to one another, a pair of jeans that mysteriously fits all four of them equally, even though they are all of different body size.
Aside from the pants connection, the movie is essentially four stories rolled into one, and each effectively holds its own. Lively probably gets the least complex storyline as she tries to woo one of her soccer coaches, but the story is still fun and entertaining. Bledel has similar yet more "Romeo and Juliet" storyline going for her; she falls in love with an Italian local, only to realize that he is the son of a family that is hated by hers. The most interesting storyline goes to America Ferrera, who, as the largest and most ethnic of the girls, has to deal with the fact that her father ("West Wing's" Bradley Whitford) is getting married to a white woman who has a couple of blond and seemingly perfect children, while the least interesting storyline goes to Amber Tamblyn, who merely makes friends with a younger girl (Jenna Boyd) who is dying of cancer or some disease that I can't seem to recall. Needless to say I didn't really pay attention to that story segment very much.
The acting all around is very good despite there being only one well known actress among the group. Ferrera really steals the show as Carmen, though the others hold their own as well. Lively appears to be a talented and attractive actress who will have plenty of future opportunities. On top of that, "Traveling Pants" is a well-directed and well-written story that rises above most teeny bopper storylines; in fact, it is basically a solid drama-comedy that just happens to appeal to younger girls.
Again, I am most definitely out of the demographic for "Traveling Pants," but for those who are in it they should enjoy it immensely, not only because it's pretty entertaining but because it's a pretty good movie, too.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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