Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (the movie)

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I'll admit that I only watched this movie because I was in serious need of something light and fun.

The reason why this was a foolish decision should be clear to anyone who's read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Since I've read (and loved) the books, I should have remembered that the first one actually lies somewhere between tear-inducing and emotionally traumatic. But I'm still really glad I watched it.

The movie lacks the emotional depth of the book, partly because we don't get as much time with each character, partly because the movie can't get inside their heads, and partly because it didn't quite hold together well enough for the big emotional moments to pack a proper punch. But there was still a lot to love.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is that rare film that is so focused on female friendships and relationships that I'm not sure it passed a reverse Bechdel test. The girls talk to their friends about everything, and their friends are almost exclusively girls. They talk about boys, yes, but they also talk about family, about the future, about ambitions and fears, about life and death and all that big stuff. They're all well-developed individuals with many different sides to them, with the propensity to be both shy AND brave, to be selfless and kind AND be selfish and cruel, to do wonderful things and to screw up in horrible, wonderful ways.

If you haven't read the books and are looking for a good summer read, I really recommend checking those out first. But if you have read the books and want a good, light movie to watch, this one is an excellent bet. It keeps to the spirit of the books, it's got some great actresses, and it's all about that thing that's oh-so-rare in movies: young female friendship.