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NOW SHOWING
Easy chemistry, winning performances buoy up ‘Sisterhood’

By Rito Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:23:00 09/27/2008

Filed Under: Cinema, Entertainment (general)

?Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2?
D: Sanaa Hamri
S: America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn

MANILA, Philippines?The adorable foursome is back and, this time, Carmen Lowell, Tibby Rollins, Lena Kaligaris and Bridget Vreeland (portrayed by America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel and Blake Lively, respectively) are discovering that there?s more to adulthood and good fortune than a pair of lucky jeans:

While the lovely but shy Lena pursues her artistic ambition as she nurses a broken heart, a rubber ?malfunction? during a cozy cuddle and the ensuing potential baby scare shake the relationship of rebellious Tibby and her boyfriend, Brian. Meanwhile, soccer ace Bridget accidentally finds hidden letters from her estranged grandmother, Greta (the lovely Blythe Danner) that reveal why her departed mother had left her and her dad.

And, at Yale Drama School, Carmen is finding it hard to fit in. But, things get more complicated when she tags along with her beautiful but haughty classmate (and exchanges gooey glances with a dashing visiting actor from RADA) to a summer theater-immersion program in Vermont. Then, in an ?Ugly Betty? moment, she ends up playing the romantic-ingénue role, Perdida, in William Shakespeare?s 1623 play, ?The Winter?s Tale?!

Director Sanaa Hamri?s sequel to the 2005 original?adapted from Ann Brashare?s bestselling novels that follow four friends who acquire a pair of magical jeans that fit all of them perfectly?is based on the fourth novel, ?Forever in Blue,? though it incorporates scenes from the previous two books.

This isn?t the first time we?re seeing the exotic Greek island, Santorini, as a backdrop to a cinematic fable. In recent months, that Aegean paradise has witnessed Meryl Streep sing and dance her way to viewers? hearts (?Mamma Mia!?) and provided a dreamy setting to KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez?s romantic collaboration (?For the First Time?). This time, though, you see a more expansive view of those visually stunning white stone houses and cabañas.

The film is occasionally bogged down by its trite, soggy and implausible bits, but works on the easy chemistry and obvious friendship of its now all-grown-up leads. There?s something endearingly sweet about seeing the once-precocious teen actresses blossom into witty young-adult stars.

Bittersweet realities

As the innocence and naivete of childhood leave them, the fresh-faced protagonists are forced to deal with the harsh and bittersweet realities of adult life?and you root for them because you?ve been through similarly confounding rough patches yourself.

The life lessons they learn don?t always come off with convincing profundity, however. Still, Danner?s character provides an instructive reminder: ?Cars are easy, it?s people you need a manual for!?



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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