Three years after their last adventures abetted by a miraculous pair of blue jeans that look and feel equally fabulous on four best-friends-forever with very different figures and temperaments, the pals are coping with college and wondering if their old bond will hold. Cue the jeans genii!
Fragile, artistic Lena Kaligaris (Alexis Bledel), bold, athletic Bridget Vreeland (Blake Lively), punky, funky Tibby Tomko-Rollins (Amber Tamblyn) and sensible but stubborn Carmen Lowell (America Ferrera) have just completed their freshman years at prestigious institutions ranging from Yale to the Rhode Island School of Design, and reunite to once again perform the sacred ritual of the traveling pants, which they will then share on a week-by-week rotation for the rest of the summer. Ever-together Carmen is quietly freaked out her recently remarried mother's (Rachel Ticotin) pregnancy and the fact that they're about to move, so she's particularly looking forward to spending time with her closest friends. But as in previous summers, they all have plans tailored to their particular interests and situations. Bridget is participating in a school-sponsored archeological dig in Turkey and grappling with the emotional fallout from her mother's suicide and her estrangement from maternal grandmother Greta (Blythe Danner), which she discovers was engineered by her father (Lively's own father, veteran character actor Ernie Lively). Lena, recovering from a traumatic reunion with her long-distance boyfriend (Michael Rady) – when she suggested they see other people she never imagined he'd leap into marriage and impending fatherhood -- is taking a drawing course, where a self-confident artists' model (Jesse Williams) catches her eye. Tibby must remain in Manhattan to complete a screenplay for film class, and she and her adorable boyfriend, Brian McBrian (Leonardo Lam), run into trouble when they take their relationship to the next level. Rather than look like a pathetic, stay-at-home dork, Carmen hastily accepts a behind-the-scenes internship at a prestigious Vermont theater camp arranged by her new friend, aspiring actress Julia (Rachel Nichols), only to find herself cast in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and entangled with her dreamy leading man (Tom Wisdom).
Though THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (2005) was an unexpectedly charming story of teenage friendship, the sequel is something of a disappointment, embroiling its refreshingly level-headed heroines in a series of clichéd romantic dilemmas: Rebound romance, a pregnancy scare, catty rivalry for a sensitive hunk. Still, the Tamblyn, Lively, Ferrara and Bledel have a sparkling chemistry that transcends trhe subpar material, and the Greek-island conclusion is so picturesque you can almost overlook the predictable histrionics – especially if you're young enough to fall within the sisterhood's target demographic. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh