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"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a future cult hit - CinemaDave

Jun. 13th, 2005 07:36 pm "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," a future cult hit

One of the most attractive visions of beauty that I
have witnessed was from my college years. Those blue
jean clad Lady Seminoles from Florida State University
dressed in a garnet and gold t-shirt. It was an
understated look that became sexy and attractive by
not trying to be sexy and attractive. Fashion trends
and fads come and go every three months, but blue
jeans have remained reliable since the dawn of
America. "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"
celebrates fashion merchandising that even a man can
understand.

Friends since birth, four best friends find a way to
cement their bond through a pair of magical blue
jeans. These blue jeans are magical because they fit
all four ladies with a variety of body shapes. Carmen
(America Ferrera) is a Puerto Rican with a plus size
booty, Bridget (Blake Lively) is an uninhibited
athlete whose mother died. Lena (Alexis Bledel) is the
most inhibited and is shy around boys. Tibby (Amber
Tamblyn) is the nonconformist rebel artist with an
earring in her nose.

It is the summer of their junior year from high
school. For the first time, these four gals are going
on separate vacations. In order to stay in touch with
one another, the four gals decide to share these blue
jeans and mail them to each other after a week. Since
she is a visiting relative in Greece, Lena becomes the
first steward of the sacred denim.

Lena almost drowns as a result of wearing the blue
jeans, but is rescued by a Greek fisher boy. The next
week, Tibby receives the blue jeans and the jeans jinx
her artistic temperament. While shooting a
documentary about the angst of life, Tibby is saddled
with Bailey (Jenna Boyd), a precocious 12 year old who
is a more creative artist than Libby. Carmen receives
the blue jeans while visiting her divorced father in
Charleston, South Carolina. Upon her arrival, this
Latina Chica is surprised to learn that her father is
planning his next wedding. Carmen feels out of place
with her WASP stepmother and stepsiblings. Bridget
the soccer sensation receives the jeans just in time
to flirt with the soccer coach.

While "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” does
suffer from three false swartzy moments, the four
characters are so endearing that it is fun to share a
seat with them. Each interaction with the blue jeans
provides consequences, both good and bad for the
protagonists. Whether blessing or a curse, each
character matures. As Carmen, America Ferrera has the
most emotional centerpiece and breakdown. Tibby grows
out of her Goth phase because of the pain of others.

Fortunately director Ken Kwapis uses humor to deflect
consistent gloom. Like some of the best episodes of
"Everybody loves Raymond,” there is a fine line
between emotional pain and the belly laugh humor of
such a wounded situation. Kwapis and his cast pull it
off.

Like "Lords of Dogtown," (which also features America
Ferrara in a cameo), these films will find a cult
audience on DVD. Like "Dead Poets Society" 16 years
ago, "The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants' is one of
these little gems that will fly under the radar and
will be an influence on today’s teenagers.

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