The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

| June 3, 2005

Uh…. Almost 100 people in the theater and I was one of 4 males in attendance. This movie was screaming “Chick Flick” before the warnings (trailers) started rolling. I half expected the pre-trailer ads to be for feminine hygiene products. So why am I doing this review? Because guys, as chick flicks go, this is a really good one to bring your date to. The actresses aren’t the “mature” Meryl Streep and Jessica Lang, they are all in their 20s and cute. And, it’s a good movie.
Based on a novel by Ann Brashares, Traveling Pants is the story of four joined-from-birth-at-the-hip young women who are about to go their separate ways for summer vacations. A typical, pre-trip shopping excursion brings them upon a novel idea. By some miracle (which the wife has yet to be able to buy into either), there is one pair of jeans that fits all of their bodies perfectly. Evidently, with any four female friends, that could never happen. And, I guess that’s why it isn’t The Sisterhood of the Traveling Socks. As it is their first time being parted for any length of time, the girls decide that this pair of pants would be shared amongst them, with Fed Ex and the US Postal Service providing them with a denim link that would wrap around the world. When I saw the first Fed Ex package, I had to snicker, thinking that Tom Hanks and Wilson would also have the perfect pair of pants.
So the movie evolves into four parallel stories based around the four girls and what happens to them when the pants come into their lives:
Amber Tamblyn is Libby. Picture a slightly more depressed Joan from Joan of Arcadia (TV) and you will have this character. She is the only one not traveling from home, instead has taken a job at the local Wallmart look alike while she makes a documentary of all the stupid people she meets. Her summer is complicated by Jenna Boyd, playing Bailey. Boyd, all of 11 years old (Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star) is breathtaking as an ill girl looking to make the most of an uncertain amount of time she has.
Alexis Bledel is Lena. As with Tamblyn, picture Bledel’s Gilmore Girls (TV) character Rory and you have her pretty much on target. Her adventure in Greece takes on a Romeo and Juliet feel when she meets a boy that is from a family that has had a feud with her family dating back two generations. The pants give her the confidence to get to know him. What is really wonderful about this story line is the backdrop of the Greek Island where she is staying. I kept wanting to reach for my camera to shoot some stills!
Blake Lively is Bridget. She is the only actress who is playing near her age (17). She is and all star soccer player on her way to soccer camp for the summer. She falls for one of the counselors and the pants give her permission to make a play for him. Toward the end of the movie, this story line is responsible for a completely stupid interaction between the counselor and her that takes place a block from her house and has him wandering around aimlessly looking for her house. The pants may be magical, but how this scene comes about ruins the continuity of the movie.
Ruins it, that is, if you are a guy not completely lost in the magic of the Chick Flickiness of it all. Now, to be honest, the fact that she spends most of her scenes in a job bra and boy shorts is a BIG plus for the men (and gay women) watching, because she is the weakest of all the actresses.
American Ferrara plays Carmen. She is going to Carolina to spend time with her father (Bradley Whitford from The West Wing) who has a few surprises awaiting her, including a new family in the making. The pants make her brave enough to face her anger. Ferrara (Real Women Have Curves) is by far the best actress of the bunch. I truly enjoy watching her on screen.
I would completely recommend this film. You will have to suspend some reality with some buy-in to dumb story points, but remember, it’s not about you…. It’s all about the woman you are bringing to the film and having her head on your shoulder thinking you are just the best for going to this film.

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