The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Warner Brothers filmed on Santorini
August 23, 2005
Based on the teen bestseller by Brashares, THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS follows four best friends as their summer is spent apart for the first time in 16 years. They stay connected via a pair of jeans that—magically!—fits all four different body types perfectly.
Voluptuous Carmen (Ferrera) visits her father, Al (Bradley Whitford), in South Carolina; sporty Bridget (Lively) goes to summer camp in Mexico; beautiful but closed-off Lena spends the summer with her grandparents in Santorini; and budding filmmaker Tibby (Tamblyn) stays home in Bethesda, Maryland.
Pants aims to please the book's fans and should probably create some new followers of the series.
OK, I'll admit I'd never heard of the novels, but the film's four young actresses are very likable and the location shots of the wondrous Greek island of Santorini make an atmospheric travelogue.
The daughters of four women who all gave birth within a week's time —introverted Lena (Alexis Bledel of TV's The Gilmore Girls), goth videographer Tibby (Amber Tamblyn, Joan of Arcadia), emotionally fragile Carmen (America Ferrera, Real Women Have Curves) and sexual predator Bridget (Blake Lively) — separate for the summer between their junior and senior year of high school.
They remain connected, however, by those elastic jeans, which they each wear for a week and then mail on to the next girl in rotation. Together they make up rules governing the pants, deciding they convey courage and other powers, or perhaps they simply bring out qualities that were always present in the girls.
Director Ken Kwapis (He Said, She Said) juggles all four plot lines efficiently.
The only regret is that the story structure requires the four actresses — who have an appealing group chemistry — to be separated for most of the movie.
Lena is the one who is Santorini-bound, staying with her overly protective grandparents, but becoming romantically entwined with a local boy whose family is feuding with Lena's, a Romeo & Juliet knock-off. Hispanic Carmen heads to the Midwest to reunite with her estranged, divorced dad (The West Wing's Bradley Whitford), but did not expect a tug-of-war over him with his fiancee and her white-bread children.
Blonde, leggy Bridget jets off to Baja, Mexico, to a soccer camp, determined to lose her virginity to a cute counselor.
And in the most maudlin of the plots, Tibby stays home in Bethesda, Md. — played by Vancouver, Canada — to work at a big-box discount store and make what she calls a suckumentary about working conditions there. She quickly acquires a pushy 12-year-old assistant, Bailey (Jenna Boyd), and feels rotten about being rude to her when she learns the kid has a terminal disease.
Screenwriters Delia Ephron and Elizabeth Chandler see to it that each young actress gets a standout dramatic scene, after which her conflict gets tidily disposed of.
Chances are moviegoing Sisterhood members will not mind the Afterschool Special aspects of the four-pronged narrative.
Anyone who does can while away the time enjoying the bleached white facades and charm-laden streets of Santorini.
Palm Beach Post