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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Power of a Good Pair of Jeans

Best friends are forever. At last until you all go off to college and forget about each other. In Ken Kwapis' adaptation of author Ann Brashares novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the protagonists are four sixteen-year olds in the apex of their friendship, which they dub "the sisterhood" on the eve of a summer during which they all head off into different directions with only one thing in common binding them together -- a pair of jeans with mystical, magical qualities.

Tibby (a young Judy Garland, Amber Tamblyn), a rebel with aspirations of becoming a documentary filmmaker is spending her summer working at a store strongly resembling Wal-Mart while completing her cinematic manifesto and prudish, shy goody-two-shoes Lena (Alexis Bledel) is spending her summer on a Greek island with her grandparents while the feisty and brilliant Carmen (America Ferrera who delivers a knockout performance here) is staying with her father in North Carolina and Bridget (Blake Lively) is practicing her skills of seduction at a remote soccer camp in Mexico.

After they find a pair of jeans at a thrift store that mysteriously fits all of their varying sizes perfectly, they decide to pass on the pants to each other for a week at a time. As each young woman gets her turn, the powers of the pants manifests itself. Tibby meets an outspoken girl, Bailey (Jenna Boyd), who ends up becoming her assistant and helps to melt her tough exterior, Lena finds love and her true beauty, after Carmen, whose mother is of Puerto Rican descent, gets dumped in "the land of the blonde", i.e. her father's shockingly flaxen new family, she is given courage and Bridget realizes that sex won't be able to help her cope with the recent death of her mother.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants contains ridiculous scenarios through which you are forced to suspend belief, and we're not talking about the magical pants. The dialogue suffers from "Dawson's Creek" syndrome -- by which you are led to question: what sixteen-year olds actually talk like this? This is particularly apparent with Bailey who is only twelve. Moreover, their conversations sound like gab sessions from an adolescent "The View" (not bad, just an observation). The most intriguing, engaging part of the film is the actual delivery of the pants from one place to the next.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a definite "chick-flick", especially for pre-teen women. However, those women of an older age-bracket out for a girls' night out would also enjoy the amiable banter, over-the-top scenarios from life's many melodramas and strong, empowering message of sisterhood.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars