Wednesday, August 6, 2008

‘Pants’ outgrown on film, maybe not in books

Regardless of potential success at the box office, the screen saga of the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” ends with the sequel that opens today nationwide.
Why? The final three volumes in the popular book series by Ann Brashares have been consolidated, if you will, into “Sisterhood 2,” which reunites Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn and Blake Lively.
That might not sit well with fans of her novels, the 40-year-old Brashares acknowledges to guest correspondent Stan Urankar.
" ‘Purists’ is a good description for those readers,” Brashares admits, “but I prefer to think of them as young women who are very passionate about these characters that they’ve come to love.”
The first “Sisterhood” did well enough at the box office — just over $39 million domestic — but not well enough to scream theatrical sequel. Brashares accepted the decision of producers to focus on her final novel, “though there were elements from the second and third books that would have been impossible to ignore.”
That said, she adds, “this movie really does capture the spirit of the books in that it focuses upon the emotional quality of their lives. I believe what the purists respond to most deeply is the girls’ emotional bond and lasting friendship, and that is really, really there on screen.”
Brashares, who lives in New York City with her husband, artist Jacob Collins, and their three children, Sam, Nate and Susannah, is primed to launch “3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows.” The new book series, set several years later, follows three girls in the same Bethesda (Md.) high school that the first “Sisterhood” attended.
Then again, don’t discount Brashares revisiting the original quartet in novels geared for her once-young audience as grown women. “I would love to go back,” she says, “and see what kind of adults these girls have become.”

(Read Stan's "Sisterhood 2" review in this week's Sun News, where you'll also find both my review of this week's other big opening, "Pineapple Express," as well as an interview with producer/writer/star Seth Rogen. Then, later this week, look for for more of the funny Rogen's smokin' comments on my post at MovieZen.)

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