The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

  • Review Date: October 9, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sensitive portrayal of four girls' friendships.
  • Review Date: October 9, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Friendship, family, acceptance, loyalty, and a pair of pants hold together the different summer experiences of four great high school friends. The girls demonstrate self-sacrifice, empathy, and understanding as they support each other through difficult experiences.  

Positive role models

Away at soccer camp, Bridget pursues her college-aged coach. They have off-screen sex, but both show maturity after, judging that they went too far too soon. Lena learns to stand up for herself. Carmen overcomes the pain of her father's remarriage and Tibby drops her protective outer shell.

Violence

A suicide that took place before the movie begins continues to affect the characters. Someone is conked in the head with a tennis ball. Someone throws a rock at a window in anger. A 12-year-old girl has leukemia. Tibby visits her in the hospital and she appears to be very sick.

Sex

Bridget dances seductively. Off-screen, Bridget has sex with a slightly older coach. Lena kisses her new Greek boyfriend.

Language

"Screw the world," "pain in the ass," "Oh, Jesus," "sucks," and "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In a bar scene, people drink. A woman smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is based on the book by the same name. Friendship, family, acceptance, loyalty, and a pair of pants hold together the different summer experiences of four close high school friends. The teen characters deal with difficult issues, including a parent's suicide, disease/death of a close friend, a father's remarriage, seduction, and first-time sex (this last is indicated rather than depicted explicitly). The film includes tense family scenes, with a focus on reconciliation after angry flare-ups. Characters use some mild profanity (including "suck" and "ass") and drink. The girls demonstrate self-sacrifice, empathy, and understanding as they support each other through difficult experiences. 

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS follows four high school girlfriends who separate for the summer and vow to keep in touch by way of a pair of blue jeans that magically fits all their different body sizes perfectly. They mail the jeans to one another, along with letters to keep up with what's happening in each other's lives. Lena (Alexis Bledel) is shy and quiet, on her way to Greece to visit relatives; aspiring documentary-maker Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) resents being stuck working at a local Wal-Mart-type store; golden girl Bridget (Blake Lively) is dealing with her mom's suicide and distant father as she heads to soccer camp in Mexico; and young writer Carmen (America Ferrera) goes to North Carolina to visit with her long-absent father, Al (Bradley Whitford), who announces he's about to marry Lydia (Nancy Travis), whose two blond teens seem complete opposites of Carmen. During their vacations, they explore their emerging sense of independence, while figuring out how to maintain relationships with their families and with each other, and each girl learns a valuable life lesson.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Based on Ann Brashares' novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is sometimes sentimental and ultimately sensible, and it's respectful of its strong girl characters and its audience. The film introduces its protagonists as general types, but quickly grants them space to become interesting and complicated. The movie is about learning to appreciate what's in front of you as well as new experiences. But their most important lesson has to do with their mutual support and affection, which lasts over time.

Where too many movies treat a girl's losing her virginity as singularly traumatic or excessively romantic event, this one shows it as a difficult event from which she learns, recovers, and moves on. If its resolutions are at times too neat, the movie is also refreshingly frank, allowing the girls to be confused, perceptive, foolish, mad, and generous. Just like girls can be.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's depiction of loyalty and loss, especially as each of the girls loses something precious, but also gains experience and faith in herself and her best friends. How do you support your friends when they feel sad or angry? 

  •  How can you be mad at someone but also, at the same time, still love him or her? How can loss also be an occasion for learning, sharing, and emotional maturation?

  • How does the movie compare to the book? Do the characters appear the way you imagined?

  • The girls make some mistakes but ultimately learn from them. Do you consider them role models? Which character did you identify with most?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 1, 2005
DVD release date:October 11, 2005
Cast:Alexis Bledel, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera
Director:Ken Kwapis
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Drama
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements, some sensuality and language

This review of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old August 20, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

cute, sad, amaizng

such a cute movie, really good, really funny, yet really emotional. its totally realistic too, which is cool. i love it. :D
Kid, 12 years old August 28, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
I saw it at age ten. A bit sad :'(. LUVed it though
Teen, 13 years old Written byzipzipzap July 14, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

such a great movie

i love this movie it is one of my favorties. Great for most ages and sends posative messages about friendship
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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