Chick flick—apalooza: “Traveling Pants 2” and “Bonneville”

Ah, the chick flick. Much maligned.
Often contrived. And, every now and then, downright satisfying. To
be perfectly honest, I like a good chick flick — emphasis on good,
of course. For me, the appeal is built right into the name. Chick: Well,
I am one, and I like them. Flick: Well, movies; who doesn’t love movies?
Two upcoming releases seek to find just the right chocolate-and-peanut-butter formula that results in the good kind of chick flick we all love to watch
on lazy Sunday afternoons when we should be paying bills or regrouting
the tub.

Both also fall into what is
usually my favorite of the chick flick subgenres: the female bonding
movie. Sure, romantic comedies are the more popular subgenre, but you
just get more estrogen for your buck with bonding pictures. The films
are Bonneville (opening Feb. 29 limited and March 21 wide)
and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (opening Aug.

Bonneville, which stars
50-somethings Jessica Lange, Joan Allen, Kathy Bates
and Christine Baranski, centers on a cross-country road trip
taken by three friends when one of their husbands dies. The trip is
done in — you guessed it — a big old convertible Pontiac Bonneville.

Is anyone else getting a decidedly
Thelma & Louise feel from that photo? I just hope it doesn’t end
the same way. Though, from the trailer, it looks like the ladies have their
automotive high jinks in the Utah salt flats, not the Grand Canyon.


Woo-hoo for Kathy landing Tom
’s character. By the way, did you know he’ll turn 75
this year? Whoa. And speaking of fun with ages, does anyone else
think it’s silly that Jessica, who is 59, is playing the stepmother
of Christine, who is 56? Well, I guess it could have been worse; she
could have played her birth mother.

While Bonneville is aimed
at the 50-plus crowd, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is aimed
squarely at the teen and 20-something set. The film is based on Ann
’ bestselling follow-up, The Second Summer of the
. Stars Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera,
Blake Lively
and Amber Tamblyn

are all back for more adventures with the miraculous one-size-fits-all
jeans. Interestingly, when the original was released in 2005, it was
Alexis (Gilmore Girls) and Amber (Joan of Arcadia) with
the hit TV shows. Now, as the sequel rolls around, it’s America (Ugly
) and Blake (Gossip Girl) who have all the buzz.

Despite the age inappropriateness,
I liked the original. It was sweet and had enough talent to largely
keep it from being saccharine. The sequel picks up the next summer.
Is it just me, or are there a lot more boys this time around?



Oh, thank heavens: It has the
requisite “let’s all dance around with each other” scene that
lets us all know that the bonding has begun. Now if only one of them
would sing into a hairbrush. Still, you cannot deny the cuteness of
America’s pratfalls. It simply can’t be done.

Well, what do you think? Do
either of these look like they’ll rise to the ranks of the good, Sunday-afternoon-worthy
chick flicks? Or are you holding out for this year’s big mama of
chick flicks opening in October, the remake of The Women? Now those are some females worth
bonding with.