Monday, June 27, 2011

King of Pain Blogathon: Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Over at The Dark of the Matinee, Hatter's been watching some movies from his wife's "shelf of doom" (which since I probably like most of them, I take issue with his choice of description).  One of the original movies to be voted on was the tween-film The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants somehow didn't make the final cut, despite my trying to cram the voting box.  So I thought I'd add a short review, though definitely not as painful as perhaps Hatter might have found it.

First, though a story about a dress in college.  I had a really diverse group of friends, and among the seven of us, we broke down into the tall and the small.  It didn't really break down along ethnic lines and was more of a continuum, but it would be damn near impossible for the same pair of jeans to fit two of us, let alone four of us like in the book/movie.  One day, Alexa's mom mailed her a cute stretchy black dress from a chain store.  When I got home from class everyone was throwing the dress around trying it on and it looked TERRIBLE (really terrible) on everyone.  So of course I had to take my turn and try on this awful dress.  In a strange twist of fate, it was made for my body shape and height, and hangs in my closet still.  This is to illustrate that I don't find the premise of this movie - that a single pair of jeans (not even a stretchy dress) could fit four different girls - even a little bit believable.  However, I don't think it matters to the actual story of the movie.  It's just a gimmick to show you the four girls in different places during their summer vacations.   Writing letters might have done the same thing, but they sent each other the pants and documented the stuff that happened while wearing them (Oh, and they didn't wash them, ewwww!).

The movie stars Alexis Bledel, pre-"Gossip Girl" Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn and a pre-"Ugly Betty" America Ferrera as friends whose mothers were once in a lamaze class together and thus their children become friends.  They're now in high school and going separate ways for the summer - Bledel to family in Greece, Lively to soccer camp in Mexico, Ferrara to visit her Dad's new family in the south and Tamblyn to stay home, make a movie and work at a dollar store.

Bledel falls for an unsuitable boy and blames it on not learning to speak Greek. Lively sleeps with a coach at camp and blames it on an absentee father and deceased suicidal mother.  Ferrara hates her white dad's new family and blames it on her ethnicity.  Tamblyn makes her film, falls for a cool guy, makes a new younger friend who is also sick.  Only Tamblyn's story is interesting and worthy of screen-time, but even then it's barely better than an afterschool special.  The others are all just whiny teenage angst, some sluttier than others.

I know this movie wasn't made for me.  However, I have read all the books, also not meant for me, and there was some good source material that did not translate to the screen well at all.  The girls come across as whiny rather than lonely, slutty rather than screwed up emotionally, and mostly just annoying.  The sequel is almost exactly the same, though they did solve some of the problems of the first one, but created more problems for the sequel.  Thankfully they won't be making a third.  Yes, painful if you're an adult.  Probably pretty great if you're a tween girl.  I loved The Baby-sitters Club in my day, but I'm sure my parents would have HATED it. Same thing here.

1 comment:

Rich said...

They all wear the same pair of pants but don't wash it? This must be a teen movie.