Monday, September 8, 2008

Screening Log - Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

I'd be lying if I said Sisterhood 2 was everything I hoped it would be.

But then again, with this kind of movie, sometimes you have to blame the hopes, not the flick.

Though I didn't know it at the time, Sisterhood 1 set an impossible task for its sequel. (Yep, even more so than usual.) It messed with a couple of key plot lines from the first book, thus leaving any future films based on the other books to either, a) attempt some serious plotting acrobatics, or b) diverge entirely.

Either would have been tricky. But the producers of the sequel, instead, opted to land somewhere in the middle: mashing together plots from all three remaining books (hence the acrobatics) while also omitting generously, and even making a few things up where it suited them. (Funny, didn't one of the characters have a quasi-affair with a married man in the print version? Yeah, I thought so too. But that wouldn't fly with the under-12 set, would it?)

I know, I know. Comparisons to "the book version" are tiresome - but in this case, where some plot lines have been entirely altered or omitted (and not all that adeptly), they're hard to avoid. To my eye, as someone who's read the books, the narrative felt rushed and awkward. I'd guess even film-only Sisterhood fans would feel the same way. (Carmen's mom got married? What about her father and stepfamily? Brian and Tibby are together, and Lena and Kostos aren't? Wha...?)

Okay, enough about the plotting. The gals were great - Amber Tamblyn in particular impressed me - and still had that natural, fun, "BFFs 4eva!" vibe. The eye candy on display was man-tastic throughout. (Who knew Leonardo "The Perfect Score" Nam was hiding those goodies under his ironic t-shirts?) And, of course, the flick provided that gooey, feel-good Sisterhood message that we all (okay, some of us) know and love.

Sure, they dropped some of my favorite sub-plots. I can always re-read the books the next time I hit a beach, and in the meantime, I'm going to bed smiling.

Just a reminder: Here's what I thought of the first installment.

1 comment:

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