| Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted for "Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2" by Keith Cohen and Jolene Mendez.
The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2
3 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"
Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia"), America Ferrera (Emmy-winning star of "Ugly Betty"), Blake Lively ("Gossip Girl") and Alexis Bledel ("Gilmore Girls") reunite onscreen as the lifelong best friends audiences fell in love with three years ago.
Based on Ann Brashares' best-selling series of novels about four young women who share an unbreakable bond through the unpredictable events of their lives, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" catches up with Tibby (Tamblyn), Carmen (Ferrara), Bridget (Lively) and Lena (Bledel) in the months following their first year of college. Having been apart all year, their plans for the summer will take them even further along separate paths as each experience the freedom, love, choices and challenging life lessons that mark their individual journeys toward adulthood. It will take more than a hurried note or even a treasured pair of second-hand blue jeans passed back and forth among them to keep their lives connected.
This wonderful summer elixir will make you feel young again. A nice introduction opens the door into each girls life making it unnecessary to have read the books or watched the first movie. A special pair of denims purchased at a thrift shop represents the bonding material of friendships built to last forever. Feeling displaced at home with her mother expecting a new baby, Carmen goes with a Yale roommate to a theater program in Vermont where she unexpectedly lands a plum role in a Shakespeare play. She also draws the attention of the handsome leading man with a sexy British accent.
Lena tries to overcome a broken heart when she learns that her first love, Kostos, who she met on the Greek island of Santorini, has married a local girl. She has enrolled in a painting class at her Rhode Island design school. She has an intoxicating summer fling with a male model who poses in the nude. Still struggling with her mother's suicide and questions about her past, the free-spirited, soccer-playing Bridget goes on an archeological dig in Turkey and develops a maternal bond with her female professor. Tibby stays home in New York City working in a video store. She breaks up after dating her devoted Asian boyfriend Brian for 10 months when a pregnancy scare results from sexual intercourse.
This video diary expertly juggles all four stories going back and forth with the deft touch of tight editing. Each segment is engaging and holds your attention. There is never a dull moment and you can't wait to see what transpires next. The transitions follow the weekly rotation of the magical pants that seemingly bring good luck and perform miracles for the person wearing them. This quartet of bosom buddies have really matured from the first film and are all fine actresses in their own right. They have winning personalities, a youthful enthusiasm and the camera adores every move they make. The audience cares deeply about them and silently roots for their success.
The adapted screenplay from "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" ties up every embroidered thread and comes full circle resolving any fraying hems in each individual subplot. When the pants go missing, the story winds up with an exhilarating climax in Greece. The breathtaking scenery includes magnificent views of the water and the close proximity of the houses in the mountainside village. This quintessential chick flick encourages gals to follow their hearts. It poses the question of whether there is only one special person meant for us in the world. It places a priceless value on the emotional support provided from enduring friendships. The musical score conveys a sense of discovery.
You will find yourself laughing and crying at a plethora of defining moments in each of the lives of this fabulous foursome. Time seems suspended as you feel refreshed and invigorated from this cinematic fountain of youth that celebrates the joy of being alive.
The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2
2 Stars (Out of 4)
Review by Jolene Mendez
Friendships are built to last, but under some circumstances time and distance cause these relationships to dissolve. In “The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2,” four girls will have their friendships tested as college begins and they struggle to stay in touch. “The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2” picks up from the original, based on Ann Brashares’ best selling series of novels that follows the friendship of four girls from high school and beyond. In the previous film the girls find a pair of magical jeans they all manage to fit into perfectly. The girls share the jeans during the summer months and add “personality” to the jeans along the way. After a girl has completed her term of wearing the magical jeans she then sends it on to the next friend with an update of just how magical they really are. This is no exception in the sequel. Only this time the girls are much more grown up.
Having completed high school the girls have moved onto new ambitions. Tibby Tomko-Rollins (Amber Tamblyn) has remained close to home and has lost someone close to her. She is trying to work on a relationship with her new boyfriend and is studying film while working at a local video store. Lena Kaligaris (Alexis Bledel) is taking a course to define her artistic abilities while struggling with a broken heart. Carmen Lowell (America Ferrera) is traveling to Vermont with a new friend to help on the set of a play, as she copes with her mother being remarried with a baby on the way. Bridget Vreeland (Blake Lively) is studying archeology abroad while struggling to cope with her mother’s death. It seems as if the girls have all gone there separate ways. In the beginning you see them remaining in touch and trying to stay connected, but you slowly see this diminish as they begin to grow further apart. As summer flies by, they do not reach out to each other in their times of need. Carmen, who has always been the glue that stuck the girls together, begins to resent that she is the only one willing to work on making the friendships stick. She becomes frustrated as is shown in a heated argument with Tibby.
These lifelong friends continue to struggle but the powerful friendship they share takes over. Putting all petty arguments aside, the girls reunite in beautiful Greece and take a moment to enjoy the last days of summer as a group. This movie is definitely not as good as the first as it seemed to lack showing the bonding moments that made these girls true friends. Their time on the screen as a group was minimal, which was the purpose in showing these girls growing up and struggling to become independent woman. By doing so the film lost the fun and liveliness that I remember the first film having. The films running time was long and felt that way. The enjoyable parts would definitely go to America Ferrera as Carmen, watching her portray a girl with insecurities who turns into an inspirational person. However, the best performer overall would go to Amber Tamblyn as Tibby. Her dry sense of humor and fiery performance was a crowd pleaser. If you enjoyed the original “Sisterhood of Traveling Pants” you may be a little disappointed by the sequel but you should still check it out, because the girls were still fun to watch as they take on the new challenges of their lives.