The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)

Genre: Romantic Drama Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.

Release Date: August 6th, 2008 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Sanaa Hamri Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Rachel Nichols, Tom Wisdom, Rachel Ticotin, Leonardo Nam, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Blythe Danner

 


 

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econd-time feature director Sanaa Hamri (“Something New”) takes over for veteran Ken Kwapis in the sequel to “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005), but it makes little technical or artistic difference. Bringing back all of the same characters from the original, this follow-up does an exemplary job of telling a new story without requiring the audience to have viewed the former dramatic comedy. Unfortunately, the four interweaving trials of the slowly distancing heroines fail to offer up any noticeably authentic revelations or any truly groundbreaking advancements in their lives. Many little subplots develop, but most barely affect the whole and, by the end of this lengthy exploration of young women coming of age, nothing warranting a sequel has taken place.

In the first film, four best friends miraculously found a pair of jeans that fit each one perfectly. Using the pants as a way to stay close together as they journey away to college, the four girls mail the heavily decorated jeans back and forth to one another as a good luck charm, while also planning to meet up during their summer breaks. Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) works at a video store and struggles with commitment to her boyfriend. Lena (Alexis Bledel) is studying figure drawing and is attempting to keep her mind off of a heart-wrenching breakup. Bridget (Blake Lively) is invested in sports and archaeology, but remains troubled over the death of her mother. And Carmen (America Ferrera), who isn’t quite sure of what to do with her future, is a stagehand for school plays.

When summer finally rolls around, the four girlfriends realize that each has their own separate goals and agendas, and that spending time together has become more difficult to arrange – and seemingly less important. Their coven-like rituals of sharing adventures has steadily lost its meaning, causing the foursome to discover that summertime will be drastically more independent. But (expectedly) as Lena confronts her ex, Tibby deals with a contraceptive malfunction, Carmen’s mother goes into labor, and Bridget reunites with her long lost grandmother, the four girls rediscover their friendship and the importance of sticking together.

The ideals are nothing new, the events that frequent each storyline are generic, and the revelations are simplistic. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” is an average coming-of-age film that fails to muster up any reasons to justify its existence. It is a mere continuation of dully familiar characters’ lives, with its strongest asset lying in its trademark storytelling approach. Fortunately, whether or not each girl is appealing or relatable or even interesting, and although many references to the original film are made, their stories are plotted out with enough detail that seeing the previous chapter is not a prerequisite.

Two love triangles arise, endurances are tested, and miracles are summoned. Jealousy rears its ugly head, betrayal emerges, and every supporting character is physically picture perfect. As each young woman undergoes many trivial and unemotional plot developments, the picture begins to drag. It becomes an unnecessarily long film, which continually reminds the audience that none of the diminutive, unmoving events amount to anything special. For a film with so many lead characters and so many tales to tell, it ultimately couldn’t be more pointless – other than to capitalize on the financial draw of sequels, of course.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10