SLIDER

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Films Discussed:

-The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005): Rated, PG
-The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (2008): Rated, PG13

It had been years since last I watched either one of these adaptations and so one night I settled in to watch the first film and despite the late hour, couldn’t resist starting the sequel. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, it follows four lifelong 16-year-old best friends – Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Lena (Alexis Bledel), Bridget (Blake Lively) and Carmen (America Ferrera), who have never been apart for a summer… until this one. On one of their shopping trips, they find one pair of pants that “magically” fits each of them perfectly. Sure that this means something, the girls decide to mail the pants to each other over a summer of separation – including travel to Greece and Spain, hoping that the pants found them for a reason.

Over the next two years, along with their companions of heartbreak and laughter, the pants continue to be a part of the girl’s freshman years of college lives as well as the many people who come and go, touch and change those lives.  

As I watched these films, I realized how easily I forget what cute “chick flicks” these were. I enjoy the characters, the locations, the saucy personalities and the stories themselves. In addition to the now well-known stars who brought these characters of Ann Brandish alive, some of the actors who played characters in these include Jenna Boyd (in a particularly moving role as Bailey), Michael Rady, Lucy Hale, Blythe Danner, Rachel Nichols (Alias, G.I. Joe) and Tom Wisdom. Though the books were never something that made it into my reading habits, after two adaptations, I cannot imagine enjoying anyone else in the leading roles – each girl brought something unique to their roles and the emotions they get out of their characters makes for memorable cinema. There was change in their characters between movies one and two which can be attested to the actors crafting and while, some of the emotions that flare up do repeat themselves in both movies, all of us can probably admit to the truth in them. Girls do fight over petty things and rather than think before acting, sometimes tempers get the best of us. For these four, that and then some certainly was a truism. Instead of remembering all they’d been through, they let jealousies, excuses and others come between what they had – a friendship that was always there, no matter what. 
 

Rumors of a third film have been circulating and while I’d be first in line – yes, we do want to see what these girls are up to in their “grown-up” life, I doubt it will ever see production if they cannot reunite the primary four cast members. Something I would completely agree with. The scenery in both films is also beautiful, particularly in the final scene of the sequel (one that was lobbied for by the actresses) and each of the sequences in Greece. Most people don’t care for the sequels nearly as well, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I liked it just as well if not better than the original, mainly because of the change in Bridget. She goes from being a girl on the verge of disaster to being a more responsible yet still fun-lovin’ “grownup.” Triumphs and tragedies follow these four girls and through it all – bumps and bruises aside, they define the meaning of friendship and that is the primary reason these stories are endearing.  
Review questions of the day: Have any of you read these books?
If so, which did you like best – books or movies? Let’s chat. 

(Content: the first movie involves Bridget enticing her older soccer coach while she’s away at camp – she sneaks out to find him at a bar, dresses suggestively and does anything she can to keep his notice. It’s implied the two of them sleep together, which changes her emotionally. The second film shows Tibby and her boyfriend making out in her bed and then Tibby giving her permission for them to have sex [there is a pregnancy scare as a result]. Some minor profanity crops up along with emotional situations like a death that hits home.) 

8 comments

  1. So, I saw the first Pants movie with my sister when it released...we had plans to go to a different movie, but got to the theater and suddenly felt more in the mood for light-hearted fun instead of the serious movie we'd planned on. But this movie totally took me by surprise--it has its light-hearted moments, but it was also surprisingly moving and heart-tugging. I really loved it!

    I was a little less impressed by the second one, but it was enjoyable.

    Haven't read the books, though...

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    1. I did too, Melissa and recently re-watching them reminded me just how much I adored them. You describe the stories so perfectly. It is lighthearted but woven into it is plenty of poignant moments, plus I love seeing Alexis (GG) in something else too even if she does virtually play the same, sweet kind of character. :)

      That's a fun story to remember seeing this one. Glad you shared your thoughts - and as always, thanks for visiting. :)

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  2. It has been so long, but I did read the series and really enjoyed it! I remember wanting special pants like that with my friends! :) Haven't seen the movies in ages, but I have to admit I thought the first one was better then the second! Bailey was my favorite character in the book and movie!

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    1. Good to know, Laura, I really glad to have your book and movie perspectives. After rewatching the movies I kind of have the urge to read the novels so I'm curious to know if they're good reads. Bailey is a lovely character - her story is a sad one yet important to Tibby's growth.

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  3. First a disclaimer that the extent of my experience with the books in this series is looking up their synopsis' on Wikipedia, so I won't be able to shed any light on how the movies stack up in comparison.

    Now onto my thoughts about the movies themselves: I'm going to go against what seems to be the trend, and say that I infinitely preferred the sequel to the original, because a) Tom Wisdom, b) Shakespeare, and c) the story-lines. Each girl's journey is just so much more interesting in Number 2, for me anyway, my favourite story definitely Carmen's, Lena's my favourite in the first movie, (what can I say, I'm a sucker for first love stories!). Also, I could possibly get on board with the idea of turning this thing into a trilogy, if, as you said, they got the same actresses to come back.

    Thanks for the review, and I could not agree more with your concluding comment, that the main reason these stories have such appeal is the friendship between the four girls, which is solid and deep, more like sisters than anything else!

    God Bless
    Eleanor Rose

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    1. I'm thinking about reading the books, Eleanor especially if a third movie is made, which I'm all for - it'd be fun to catch up with these four. :)

      I totally agree; I like the sequel as well if not better than the first, mainly for the reason you state that the girl's have grown up so much, plus I like that Bridget's story (in the sequel) is strictly about her journey and not a love story after the first movie. Lena's story is sweet throughout and I did like Tibby's in movie 1 because of her personality it was interesting to watch Bailey's affect on her.

      Thank YOU for reading and joining in the comments, Eleanor. It's fun to chat with you. :)

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  4. I have not read the books, sorry. But I have seen the movies and love them! The second one is my favorite of the two. Like you said, Bridget has grown up and, for that matter, so have the rest of them. I love the friendships portrayed here! It's fun to watch them grow and change and become somewhat distant from each other, yet finally realize that they do need each other, just not as much or in a different capacity. The actresses do a fabulous job and like you, I simply can't imagine anybody else playing the parts.

    Now I need to go home and have a rewatch! :)

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    1. *High Five* to a fellow sequel fan! I agree, it's just as good if not more of a favorite. All four have grown up a lot, but I suppose since I was most disappointed in Bridget in movie 1, it was the nicest to see her evolve. She flirted with danger in movie 1 and wound up hurt as a result of her foolishness.

      It's nice to see a friendship withstand the tests of time and distance. Yes, I know this is fiction, but maybe it's an inspiration to some of us who maybe need to examine our friendships and make sure we're treating them right. :)

      Yay! Enjoy that rewatch.

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