Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008) [PG-13] ****

Movie sequels typically fail to capture the creativity, originality and energy of the original movie although there are exceptions (The Bourne Ultimatum and Spider-Man 3 come to mind). So I was pleasantly surprised by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 which takes place about three years after the first movie.

The girls are now around twenty, and two of them have completed their freshman year at college. Lena (Alexis Bledel) has broken up with Kostas, the Greek boy she met while staying with her relatives on the picturesque island of Santorini. She's enrolled at art school, where she falls for Leo, a male model. Carmen (America Ferrara) is doing backstage work at a summer-stock theater in Vermont; she falls for Ian, a young actor who convinces her to audition, after which she steals the leading role from Julia, her roommate. Bridget (Blake Lively) is working at an archeological dig in Turkey; she gains a new appreciation of the value of family from Nasrin, her dig supervisor, after which she flies to Alabama to reconnect with Greta, her grandmother. Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) is working in a video store, taking her relationship with her boyfriend Brian to the next level, and experiencing some emotional maturation as she helps Carmen's pregnant mom during delivery.

While the well-worn traveling pants still provide a link, this film is more about the girls' individual growth and development as they begin to make decisions about what they want to do with their lives. The screenplay is well written, smoothly handling the many location changes. The four lead actresses are excellent, having grown into their roles, and there are fine supporting efforts from Michael Rady (Kostas), Jesse Williams (Leo), Tom Wisdom (Ian), Rachel Nichols (Julia), Shohreh Aghdashloo (Nasrin), Blythe Danner (Greta), Leonardo Nam (Brian), and Kyle MacLachlan. This PG-13 rated film will be especially appreciated by younger teenage girls and their mothers. 

Labels: comedy, drama, romance    
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 63/100    
Tomatometer (critics=64, viewers=67)    
Blu-ray

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