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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Forever in Blue/Phil Caruso

Review in a Hurry: Four college friends bound by a pair of magical pants have adventures and kiss boys, in this syrupy, neutered chick flick suitable for 13-year-olds.

The Bigger Picture: The fuzzy-hearted bubble some of us must build in order to stomach chick flicks may suffer a severe puncture here. Life, it's such a struggle, but not if you've got three fairy-tale friends—one of whom had a romantic indiscretion in the first film so she can leave it to her sisters in the sequel.

Sporty Bridget (Blake Lively) joins angsty film major Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), sensitive Yalie (America Ferrera) and Lena (Alexis Bledel), the shy Greek-American artiste, in a circle of perky/prickly sisterhood. The miraculous pants, which bound them together through life lessons, pain and joy during a previous summer, continue their adventures here.

There's more skin in that Fixodent commercial on the sailboat, though Pants is in part postpubescent girly porn (without the payoff). Carmen is pursued by a Shakespearean actor (Tom Wisdom), and Tibby fudges summer school with a minor indiscretion (Leonardo Nam), which is blown into her entire story.

The guy-girl plotline of Hellboy 2 was more plausible, though a magical unicorn from Sweet Valley High could've been worked in here, somewhere. Sure, the girls quibble with their guys. They also travel to Turkey and Greece, or make out (for a split second) with a hot Brit. Bridget finds closure with a painful family memory. There is a pinch of go-get-'em girl narration ("no one can diminish yourself but yourself"), and the characters do live through some realistic scenarios, but it would be surprising if anyone connects with this film as a whole.

The 180—a Second Opinion: While many of the subplots (a mother's suicide, a pregnancy scare, fear of commitment) supply a veneer of realism, the whole is just too Screenwriter 101 for any female who will be old enough to vote in November.