Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 Movie Review

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Older but perhaps not much wiser, this sequel to the 2005 original girlfriend high school outing finds the emotionally fragile foursome trying out higher education for size, along with those transient pants. And, scattered around the planet but keeping in touch, however haphazardly.

This differently evolving Sisterhood still winces from a variety of growing pains as adulthood looms. But the switch-up from male director Ken Kwapis to African American sister Sanaa Hamri (Something New), who has a more visceral sense of female angst, adds a surprisingly subtle, kind of get-used-to-it racial component into the mix that fortifies the narrative with an all-natural contemporary ambiance.

Adapted for the screen by Elizabeth Chandler from the novels of Ann Brashares, this Sisterhood summertime break sequel finds a moping and still insecure Carmen (America Ferrera) at Yale, lured into summer theater by a glamorous white coed (Rachel Nichols) in search of a little brown sister as a kind of house pet in the background. But then threatened when she senses competition front and center stage, for a guy and a gig in a Shakespearean play in production. And Bridget – Gossip Girl’s small screen sensation Blake Lively – now a soccer jock at Brown, is still dealing with the suicide of her mom as she heads off to Turkey for an archaeological dig. Where she discovers more than she anticipated about the meaning of family and her own long estranged grandmother back home (Blythe Danner).

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Meanwhile, Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), exploring a Village bohemian lifestyle, is spending the summer off from NYU Film School driving away customers at her downtown video store job, while getting it on for the first time with her Asian boyfriend (Leonardo Nam) and dealing with an unscheduled torn condom and potential baby mama stress. And Lena (Alexis Bledel), is not quite recovered from her former Greek flame being forced into a marriage with an old girlfriend who’s pregnant. Currently matriculated at Rhode Island School of Design, she’s enchanted into a romance while doodling away in drawing class, with an African American somewhat in-your-face nude model and classmate, played by Jesse Williams.

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The movie is not quite as cluttered as it sounds, as Hamri smoothly sorts out all these complicated personal issues, while managing at the same time to amazingly tie up quite a few psychological loose ends. The variously grieving and grouchy girlfriends do pull off a collective happy ending breezy rendezvous atop that relatively more problematic rocky Greek cliff, accessible only by donkey. And those traveling pants are pretty much none the worse for wear either. Sex And The UniverCity Meets My Big Fat Greek Shotgun Wedding.

Warner Bros.

Rated PG-13

3 stars