): Sanaa Hamri
's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 works perfectly as a soap opera squeezed into a feature-length package and dispensed to its (preferably female) teenage demographic. The four "sisters," now college-aged but still trading their magical blue jeans, reunite with alienated relatives, endure pregnancy scares, chase their dreams to exotic locales, and find crucial, emotional elements of themselves in the strangest of places. Like Vermont, for instance.
That doesn't mean, by any stretch, that this Sisterhood sequel offers a balanced moviegoing experience capable of entertaining the random ticket buyers who stumble in because The Dark Knight
is sold out and don't know the difference between faded Levi's and the traveling pants of the title. Knowledge gleaned from the 2005 film is imperative, while familiarity with the four books in author Ann Brashares' Sisterhood series will only help. Article continues below
Pants 2 spends equal time with each girl. After a brief stint on an archaeological dig, athletic Bridget (Blake Lively
) books a trip to Alabama to find the grandmother she never knew (Blythe Danner). Tibby (Amber Tamblyn
) is the one who thinks she might be having a baby with her loyal beau (Leonardo Nam). Lena's (Alexis Bledel
) new relationship with male model Leo (Jesse Williams
) helps her overcome feelings for Kostas (Michael Rady) -- until the Greek hunk comes back into her life. Seriously, this sounds like The Young and the Restless. At least Carmen (America Ferrera
) has normal problems. She's acting in a Shakespearean play, and has fallen for her British co-star (Tom Wisdom, whose resemblance to a young Heath Ledger
Lively and Bledel are decent. Tamblyn and Ferrera are better. The men do what they can in support, though this isn't their show and they know it. Pants 2 appeals to girls who, like the characters, are entering the final stages of teendom and are learning more about their potential futures as working professionals and independent women. Based on that description, if Pants 2 fits you, wear it with pride.