out of Five
Running time: 125
The strapline for The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants reads Laugh. Cry.
Share the pants, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know.
It’s based on the bestselling novel by Ann Brashares and the best thing you can say about it is that it’s better than Sleepover.
Lena (Alexis Bledel, from Sin City), Carmen (America Ferrera, from Real Women Have Curves), Bridget (Blake Lively) and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) are four 17 year-old girls who have been friends since their mothers met in pre-natal classes. Faced with spending their first summer apart, they find a magical pair of jeans which mysteriously fits them all, so they decide use the pants as a way of keeping in touch in the coming months. The plan is for each one of them to wear the jeans for a week to see what luck they bring, before mailing them on to the next person.
The script takes its trite, predictable premise and adds an extra level of sickly sentimentality, pausing every so often to make sure everyone is keeping up with the plot. It’s unashamedly aimed at its pre-teen target market, who will probably in all fairness, really enjoy it.
The main thing that saves this film from one-star ignominy is the performances of the lead actresses, particularly America Ferrera, whose storyline is perhaps the most moving of the four. Alexis Bledel is impossibly sweet as Lena and the gorgeous Greek scenery helps to make her plot thread stand out a little more.
Meanwhile, Blake Lively struggles with the least likeable character and Amber Tamblyn has both the most interesting character and the sickliest plot, although this is mitigated by Boyd’s sweet performance as Bailey.
In short, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is strictly for pre-teen girls and teenage boys who’ve developed crushes on Alexis Bledel after catching her in The Gilmore Girls. That said, if you can stand the sugar overload then it’s just about watchable, thanks to the spirited performances of its four leads. It’s likely to do better on DVD than at the cinema though.
The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants (PG)