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‘Traveling Pants’ a nice fit for teens and adults alike


Alexis Bledel and America Ferrera star in
Alexis Bledel and America Ferrera star in "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." (Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers / The Spokesman-Review)
Jack Garner Gannett News

Based on a popular series of juvenile novels, the highly enjoyable “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” targets 10- to 16-year-olds, but adults will find it as equally enjoyable.

The pants of the title are jeans that four friends half-jokingly believe have magical powers. As the girls part for the summer, for the first time, they vow to share the pants week by week, via the mail.

“Sisterhood,” in other words, is an anthology of four tales involving teenage girls. That’s a good thing, because none of the stories could stand the way of a feature, yet they’re appealing in 20-minute increments.

Tibby (Amber Tamblyn of “Joan of Arcadia”) is the most cynical of the four. She begins work on a journal-like video she calls a “suckumentary,” about the supposed losers around her. Her attitude changes when one of those losers – a pesky 12-year-old neighbor (Jenna Boyd of “The Missing”) – becomes an unexpected friend.

Carmen (America Ferrera of “Real Women Have Curves”) is excited to be spending the summer with her seldom-seen, estranged father (“The West Wing’s” Bradley Whitford). But once she arrives, she’s sad to find he’s preoccupied with the new woman in his life and her children.

The cocky and flirtatious Bridget (relative newcomer Blake Lively), an expert soccer player, heads for Mexico to a high-end soccer camp, with the overly obvious goal of romancing one of the handsome young coaches.

But shy Lena (Alexis Bledel of “Sin City”) wins the prize for best vacation – she spends the summer living on a sun-drenched Greek island. And she falls in love.

Under the direction of Ken Kwapis (“Dunston Checks In”), each of the four young actresses delivers a performance that’s modestly affecting, amusing and believable. And like the magical pants, the film surprisingly fits all sorts of viewers.

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