The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

In cultureShock, Entertainment by Laura Stinson

Two things in this life are nearly impossible to find: good friends and the perfect pair of jeans. Luckily, the girls in the “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” show us how it’s all done.

Fair warning: This is not a “guy” movie; it is a straight-up, unabashed chick flick. The males in the film include a bumbling absentee father, a video-game addict, and a silent (Really! He only has one line!) stepbrother-to-be. This movie oozes estrogen, and is perfect for a group of life-long bosom (literally) buddies or a mother and her teenage daughter.

The Sisterhood is made up of Bridget, Carmen, Lena and Tibby, friends since the womb when their mothers took a pre-natal yoga class. Lena is played to quiet perfection by Alexis Bledel of the WB’s “Gilmore Girls”, but fans of the show will have a hard time distinguishing Lena from the once-timid Rory they love.

Amber Tamblyn of the defunct “Joan of Arcadia” leaves her righteous roots to play the tormented Tibby in full punk regalia, of course. She spends her summer making a “suckumentary” of her life in the girls’ small town.

Newcomer Blake Lively plays the unstoppable sex kitten Bridget, who throws herself at the sexy male coach at the soccer camp she attends in Baja California, Mexico. She pushes herself to be happy, to prove that she is unlike her mother, who committed suicide.

But Carmen, portrayed by America Ferrara, is the character most strongly fleshed out. Ferrara’s breakout role came in HBO’s “Real Women Have Curves” and she doesn’t hold back when playing a fiery Latina (not much of a stretch considering she is a fiery Latina).

Carmen lives with her mother; her father is in South Carolina. When she arrives to visit him, he drives all the way home before telling her he’s moved out of Charleston into a subdivision with “surprise!” his fiancé and her two children-of-the-corn.

While Daddy’s actions are so stupid as to be almost unbelievable, Carmen’s reactions are anything but. Her outburst over the phone with him is filled with the wrath and torment of a woman-child scorned.

Ultimately, the film can be summed up as “lost and found”. Each girl loses what she believed to be a fundamental part of herself, but each also finds something much more important. For some, that elusive “thing” is within them, yet some find it in the comfort of their friends or in strangers.

When the girls return after their summer of separate adventures and shared pants, they find that as a unit and individually they are stronger.

Maybe good friends and the perfect jeans aren’t too much to hope for after all.
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