Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants II

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II

Dir: Sanaa Hamri

Starring: Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel

Runtime: 1 hr 57 mins

Film buffs across the country rejoiced when we heard Hollywood was remaking Samuel Goldwyn's classic 1954 film, Women Can Wear Pants Now. No one can forget the tale of the four lovable housewives, who (with their husbands' permission) start wearing pants. Even more memorable than the film itself was the ensuing controversy, as some women actually took to wearing pants! Many film historians believe that the loose morality and ultra-liberal stereotype of Hollywood began with this very film.

As revered and groundbreaking as it was in 1954, some elements of Women Can Wear Pants Now comes across as dated. For instance, the film was shot in technicolor, and the sound is primitive. Also, several scenes are blatant anti-Soviet propaganda, and have nothing to do with the plot.

There was a social revolution following Women Can Wear Pants Now as women everywhere fought for more rights. In the years following the film, women's rights groups fought for, and achieved the right to refuse sex to anyone, and women's bathrooms (before 1955, there were only men's bathrooms. It wasn't much of an issue, because said bathrooms were only in public places anyway).

They also fought for the right to vote, and in a particularly emotional part of the month in September of 1956, this issue was taken before the Supreme Court, where it was realized, due to a legal loophole created by an obscure constitutional amendment in 1920, women technically already had the right to vote! And wouldn't you know it, black people could vote too.

Although everyone learned a lot that day, they all agreed to leave these events out of the history books, because it made everyone feel very silly.

The remake, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II, is a success in that it stays true to the original while also managing to breathe fresh, modern air into it. The quartet of edgy, pants-wearing sisters includes Ugly Betty star America Ferrera. Her performance adds plenty of vaguely ethnic spice to the otherwise snow-white cast.

Thankfully, all the anti-Soviet propaganda of the original has been removed, and replaced with anti-Chinese propaganda.

4 out of 5 stars

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