Worn out "Traveling Pants"

June 8, 2005, midnight | By Grace Harter | 16 years, 7 months ago

Latest chick flick fails to break the mold

There are no shockers here: "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is exactly what it seems- a chick flick. Boys beware: if your girlfriends somehow rope you into seeing this estrogen-soaked film, you're in for a long two hours.

The movie focuses on the summer happenings of Lena (Alexis Bledel), Carmen (America Ferrera), Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) and Bridget (Blake Lively). As the movie begins, the girls find out that (horror of all horrors!) they won't be together this summer. Lena will be jetting off to Greece to spend time with her relatives, Carmen will be catching up with her distant father in South Carolina, Tibby will be slaving away in a Wal-Martesque store and Bridget will be showing off in Mexico at soccer camp. On the eve of their splitting apart, the girls come across a pair of pants that magically fit all four of them perfectly. They decide to each keep the pants for a week before sending them on to the next girl, hence the title.

Each girl gets a little more than she bargained for. Lena falls in love for the first time with a boy whose family is, unfortunately, an enemy of her family. Bridget recklessly pursues one of her coaches who is totally gorgeous but so totally off-limits. Carmen learns that her father (Bradley Whitford) is getting married and gaining two new children in the process, and Tibby befriends a young girl (Jenna Boyd) who helps her see the world a little differently than her usual "doom and gloom" outlook.It's all very sweet. It's also very done. The girls learn valuable life lessons, make new friends and learn to be true to themselves, just like in every other teen movie. The girls are more stereotypes than real people; Lena is the sweet, demure girl, Bridget is wild and reckless, Tibby is the artsy cynic and Carmen is the Latino spitfire with lots of curves and attitude. Sometimes the movie feels like unconnected vignettes about the lives of teenage girls.

Most of the supporting cast is very weak. The boys in the film have very little to say or do, other than smile and look handsome. More disappointing is how little the mothers have to do in the film. They figure insignificantly, if at all. The biggest presence is Bridget's mother, who doesn't appear at all. Her death is said to be the cause of Bridget's wild behavior. As for maternal interaction, that's basically it. Also weak is Bradley Whitford as Carmen's father. His disinterest in his daughter borders on neglect, and it's hard to see why she should be interesting in rekindling a relationship with a father who barely has time for her.

The real standout of the film isn't even a main character. It's Boyd as Tibby's young friend Bailey, who helps Tibby discover there's more to people than what meets the eye. Bailey persistent optimism and perceptiveness put her far ahead of all the other characters, who seem shallow and immature by comparison. Tibby and Bailey's exchanges are by far the best the film.

In the end, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" fulfills its expectations. It's sweet, it's girly and it's wholesome. It's all sugar, without any substance.

"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" is rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality and language.

Last updated: May 4, 2021, 1:33 p.m.

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Grace Harter. Grace Harter is currently a CAP senior at Blair. She loves anything British, books, music, movies and of course Silver Chips Online. She'd like to close with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that is especially profound (and makes reference to her ultimate favorite … More »

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