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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (review)

Well, hooray for a movie about girls doing their own thing. Too bad it’s more like a training-bra of a flick designed to indoctrinate tweens with the estrogen-drenched sappiness of “women’s pop culture” — you know, like Oprah magazine and Lifetime Original movies and Celine Dion ballads — than a story that deals with the actual realities of young girls’ lives.

Four of the bestest friends ever — shy Lena (Alexis Bledel: Sin City), bold Bridget (Blake Lively), gothy Tibby (Amber Tamblyn: The Ring), and, well, ethnic Carmen (America Ferrera) — discover a pair of thrift-store Levis that, miraculously, fits and flatters all of them, even the chunky ethnic one, and they share the jeans — via FedEx, for they’re scattered across the planet, and anyway there’s nothing girls like better than product placement — over that one special summer during which everyone grows up.

The film’s clunky, melodramatic fumbling of adolescent worries about sex and love and family and finding out who you are ends up undercutting the girls’ adventures in self-discovery — few teenagers will recognize their own experiences amongst all the clichés, or recognize themselves among all the 25-year-old high-school juniors — and ludicrous soap opera eventually takes over. Shhh! Somebody has cancer… but don’t worry, it’s somebody who can safely be sacrificed upon the altar of Movie Diseases so that everyone else can learn about Life.

see also:
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (review)

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) | directed by Ken Kwapis
US/Can release: Jun 01 2005
UK/Ire release: Aug 26 2005

MPAA: rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality and language
BBFC: rated PG (contains mild language and sex references)

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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