A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Miscommunication befalls couples who are clearly in love; a teen avoids the boy she loves after sex because she's confused; a father cuts off communication between his daughter and mother-in-law, an act that has helped contribute to a character's confusion about her identity. Loyal pals neglect each other, though they manage to find their way back to friendship.
Positive Role Models
Ultimately, the girls demonstrate empathy and loyalty.
Violence & Scariness
One character's mother committed suicide years earlier. More backbiting than actual physical fights.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A 19-year-old has sex for the first time with her steady boyfriend (only the girl's bare shoulders are shown; bare chest for the guy); her boyfriend tells her the condom breaks, and she later has a pregnancy scare. Fairly passionate kissing between three other couples. References to how another supporting character got a girl pregnant. Discussions about contraception.
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"Suck" and "hell" are about as bad as it gets.
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Products & Purchases
Somewhat heavy name-dropping of colleges, including NYU, Brown, Yale, and RISD; labels for Ding Dongs and Duane Reade. Since one of the main characters works at a video store, lots of posters for movies are visible. A T-Mobile Sidekick, logo clearly displayed, is brandished often. A Nintendo DS is mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two underage characters drink a bottle of wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a winning (if unsurprising) sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It's sure to appeal to teens and older tweens who are fans of both the books it's based on and the four stars, who are veterans of TV shows like Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty. That said, the characters are older now, and this film takes on more mature themes than the first movie. Some characters are sexually active: One girl loses her virginity, only to have a pregnancy scare soon after. Two underage characters drink wine in one minor scene, there are heavy discussions about suicide, and friendships are tested in sometimes painful ways. But all of these issues are relatable, and it's refreshing to see a film take them on in a straightforward manner. It's also great to see empowered, interested, caring teens make their way in the world. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sweet, endearing, and, yes, a mite predictable, this sequel won't disappoint fans of the first movie and the books. (It blends events from the second, third, and fourth books, though it mostly focuses on the fourth.) Just as in the original movie, the lead actresses all rise to the occasion, notably Tamblyn, who's a standout in her Goth getups and faux bravado. The problems they encounter are bigger here, and they delve into questions about love -- both familial and romantic -- as well as identity and even young parenthood. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 also examines the difficulties of maintaining long-standing relationships under the strains of time, distance, and lack of communication.
It's all interesting, for sure, but the overabundance of storylines hobbles the movie a bit: It feels fragmented, like the characters' lives. Thankfully, it's still nuanced, though it does take on quite a bit -- no wonder it runs a little too long. But in the end, the bonds of friendship are stronger than anything life lobs in the sisterhood's way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.