Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I was intrigued by Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants when I first saw the trailers - a movie about girls getting along? And being supportive of one another? While the world is very aware of the "Mean Girls" issue among girls, it's refreshing to see a movie about everyone else.

I moved around a lot as a kid, so I was immediately jealous that these girls knew each other from the womb. I'll never have a "lifelong friend" like that. I think close friends, kindred spirits, are hard to come by these days. But when you find them - wow - it's amazing.

Spoilers abound, so beware if you still want to see the movie:-)

Carmen, the narrator of the movie, is ethnic and well, not skinny. She is dealing with a father that has gone off and gotten this perfect little blonde-haired family, around which she feels like the odd-woman out. It's a great story line - with real emotion and depth. Dad cares but he's clueless, too. And Carmen and her dad will both have to step out and be uncomfortable to bring reconcilliation.

Bridget is dealing with her mother's death, twice as hard with a cold and aloof father. She runs, plays hard and chases guys to fill that void. Unfortunately, they indicate that this void-filling includes sexual activity. While it is true that girls make this choice all the time, I thought this story line was tied up a little too neatly and quickly. The guy follows her home from Mexico (!?)on his way back to school and she's able to have this extremely mature insight that she doesn't need to fill the void that way anymore. There is no major consequence to her actions to help her get this big insight except just talking to the girls about how much she misses her mom. I just think this one fell short a bit. Now my friend Anthony was a little concerned about the "college-guy" thing but it didn't faze me. Of course, that could be because I married someone older. But teenage girls are often drawn to college guys so that part of it didn't bother me as much.

Now Lena's guy did bother me a bit partly because he didn't look like a college kid, he looked like a man - so it kind of gave me the creeps a bit. Lena makes an observation that "Me, who has lost nothing, is still too scared to open myself up to love" or something like that. This story line also wasn't all that it could be. First of all - we're supposed to like that she's finally opening up to someone (also involving insinuated sexual activity) and yet it's with a guy who goes to college in Europe and she's going back to high school in Maryland (supposedly, yeah right). Like she's not going to get hurt in this equation somehow? This story line might have worked better if we weren't dealing with a high school girl I think. The family tradition pieces were interesting but not really fleshed out much. I love Alexis Bledel and I think she did a beautiful job but I'm not sure thay gave me enough.

And then there's Tibby with her little friend dying of cancer. This felt a little overdramatic for me but I liked how Tibby's change was more subtle and not so spelled out for the audience. The little girl went from running around to sick and dying pretty fast and I think it was a bit of a cheat to do it that way. It was designed to get an emotional reaction (I say that like it didn't work, but I wasn't the only one sniffing in the audience).

The whole jean thing that ties these girls together - didn't really work for me. I would have been fine with the letter-writing I think. If the movie can still work without a device like that, then why use the device?

There were only two guys in the theatre (including my husband) which I thought was funny. But I really did enjoy the movie - it's only when I start tearing it apart that I see the missteps, and how I might have changed it. I think the movie really belonged to Carmen - and there was enough richness to that story that I think it could have been the whole movie. Just my thoughts.

Feel free to disagree:-)