In 2005, when the moderate hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants opened, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel (respective alumnae of TV’s Joan of Arcadia and Gilmore Girls) were the most recognizable names on the movie’s marquee.
Today, as the sequel, the ta-dah-titled The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, hits theaters, it is their now-more-famous co-stars everyone seems to know. That would be America Ferrera (TV’s Ugly Betty) and Blake Lively (TV’s Gossip Girl).
Fret not, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, just like its predecessor, serves all four of these young actresses equally, though, and that’s a good thing for the plot – and for us.
I like to think of this movie as what the Sex and the City movie would have been had it gone into production immediately following the HBO’s series finale: as a look into the journey of the four heroines take when they go their separate ways.
As the movie begins, Carmen (Ferrara) waxes poetic about her and her friends’ first year at college, and lets us know she’s looking forward to seeing them and carry on with their tradition of sharing over the summer those magical pants that fit them all.
The problem is the other three girls seem less enthusiastic.
Bridget (Lively) is off to an archeological dig in Turkey, which puts her on a path to learn more about her dead mother.
Heartbroken after her relationship with the Greek boyfriend from the first movie collapses, Lena (Bledel) rebounds with a guy she’s met on campus who doesn’t really want to get serious.
And Tibby (Tamblyn) stays in New York City to shoot a film and deals, in secret, with a pregnancy scare.
As for Carmen, disappointed, she joins a college friend at theater camp, to work as a backstage bee, and ends up stealing the show – and finding love – as an unlikely leading lady.
In the end, though, those magical pants may pull off their biggest trick yet, and bring these lifelong friends back together as a sisterhood to make peace. It’s the kind of storyline you can buy into in spite of any overly sweet sticking points, thanks to the talent of the movie’s four leading ladies.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 gets extra kudos for inviting to the party two of my crushes, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Blythe Danner.
My Rating ***1/2
Photo: Warner Bros.