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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
2005 - PG - 113 Mins.
Director: Ken Kwapis
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Written By: Ann Brashares(novel), Delia Ephron and Elizabeth Chandler
Starring: Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site: sisterhoodofthetravelingpants.warnerbros.com/
   

Someone is in need of cheering up
The summer movie season is generally seen as a time for big budget extravaganzas that harbor more explosions than brain cells in their oftentimes transparent attempt to entertain the teen audience who find themselves with long days free of the worries and time commitments that are required for school and associated activities. To date, this has remained true, at least for the most part.

Into this climate comes a bit of counter programming in the form of 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' based on the novel by Ann Brashares. The film tells the story of four friends who are going to be spending their first summer apart. As a way of making certain they are always together in at least one way, they're going to send back and forth a pair of jeans (hence the film's odd title) which somehow fits each girl perfectly. Before their respective journeys are complete, each one will endure a hardship (or two) and learn a little something about life, love, and the value of friendship.

'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' as directed by Ken Kwapis ("Sesame Street"(!)) and written by Delia Ephron and Elizabeth Chandler, is imbued with heart and humor. It conclusively demonstrates that not all films having to do with a group of female friends end up being as phony and manipulative as 2002's 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' or 2000's 'Hanging Up.'

First and foremost, the film is aided by a screenplay that resists the temptation to become overly sappy at any point during the film's duration, even when the temptation is so obviously inherent in the material. Said screenplay also features some of the best dialogue of any film thus far this year. Snappy, snarky, and just plain witty, it is a privilege to witness honest to goodness wonderful dialogue and in a "chick flick" no less.

The film is also blessed with a stellar cast of young actors. Leading the way is Amber Tamblyn as the irreverent Tibby, the aspiring documentary filmmaker of the group who intends to make what she terms the first "Suckumentary." Joining her are Alexis Bledel as Lena, America Ferrera as Carmen, and relative newcomer Blake Lively as Bridget. Each one of the actors brings unforeseen depth of emotion to their respective roles, lending credence to both the humorous and dramatic portions of their individual story arcs.

Overall, 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' is a true gem of a motion picture, one likely to take the viewer by surprise as they are guided on the genuinely humorous and heartfelt trials and tribulations of four girls during one fateful summer.

 
Movie Guru Rating
An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant.
  4.5 out of 5 stars

 
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