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A Surprisingly Fine Little Film About Adolescent Growth

  • Oct 14, 2005
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (if you haven't read the novel by Ann Brashares) sounds like another silly, goofy chick flick, a made for summer popcorn movie for teenage girls to love and teenage boys to tolerate. But the title should NOT prevent the general audience from experiencing a truly tender, warm, balanced film about four teenage girlfriends bonded by a magical pair of jeans.

There are four stories here, each centered on the summer experiences of the four girls who go off in different directions and discover a lot about themselves and life: Lena (Alexis Bledel) follows family ties to Greece, encountering 'tradition vs love' with Kostas (Michael Rady, a newcomer whose looks and screen presence bode well for a fine career!); Bridget (Blake Lively) finds a balance of love and soccer in Mexico; Carmen (America Ferrera) explores family ties and body image in a new stepmother; Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) works the summer in 'Wallmans' and pursues her passion for documentary filmmaking which just happens to include a real life drama. So why do these simple tales make a movie? Each of the girls represents the delicate issues that teenagers encounter as they move into adulthood, and the manner in which director Ken Kwapis intertwines these stories through the common bond of the four girls' friendship works on every level.

There is a sense of fresh talent, fresh writing, fresh direction, and sensitive acting that make this movie one to be recommended to a large audience. A fine little coming of age film. Grady Harp, October 05

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More The Sisterhood of the Travelin... reviews
review by . June 20, 2006
Pros: Excellent performances; well written script.      Cons: None really, well okay Alexis perhaps.     The Bottom Line: Though The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is clearly a movie aimed at the teenaged female market, its message is timeless and spans both genders and generations.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. It’s Father’s Day and my four girls are scattered across the country; …
review by . June 02, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Cute, unique story, fairly close to book     Cons: Sometimes cheesy, a few changes from the book, at times poor supporting cast     The Bottom Line: Good for a girls' night out!     A girlfriend of mine asked me to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with her and, being a huge fan of the books so far, I agreed. We made it a girls' night out; four of us, a fun movie, ring pops to connect us (cute idea, but maybe not for all 20-something …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #96
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


Who would expect a gimmick like a pair of magical pants to be the hook for such a smart, charming, and emotionally rich teen movie? Four close friends discover a pair of pants that fit them all perfectly, even though they're physically very different. Since all four are going in different directions for the summer, they pledge to each wear the pants for a week and then mail them to the next girl. In Greece, Lena (Alexis Bledel,Gilmore Girls) lands in the middle of aRomeo & Julietfamily-feud romance; Carmen (America Ferrera,Real Women Have Curves) discovers that her estranged father is about to marry a blonde Southern belle; Bridget (newcomer Blake Lively) flirts with love at a Mexican soccer camp; and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn,Joan of Arcadia) stays home and gets a boring retail job to pay for her documentary film--but finds herself with an unwanted young assistant (Jenna Boyd,The Missing). These four stories manage to cover an amazing amount of ground (touching on race, body issues, divorce, mortality, and more) without resorting to stereotypes or easy resolutions. The engaging characters are brought to vivid life by these four talented actresses, who grab this excellent script and run with it. One of the best movies about teenage life in a long, long time.--Bret Fetzer
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