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THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2
Catchy little score from Portman's usual bag of tricks
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
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Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.; review copyright (c) 2008 James Southall.
Poor old Cliff Eidelman. Having managed to actually get a job scoring a film in 2005, the chick flick The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, he's only found one film project since - one of Hollywood's most perenially-underused composers continues to be neglected. A sequel to the reasonably-successful movie comes along and he isn't even invited back to that, with Rachel Portman - who seems to have given up any battle to avoid being typecast many years ago - has got the gig instead. The film, ingeniously, has been called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, which rolls off the tongue as smoothly as a large thistle which has just been scent-marked by the local moggy.
My reaction to a new Portman score essentially depends on how long it's been since the previous one - and in this case it's been a couple of years since The Lake House, so this score comes across as being extremely snappy and tuneful and enjoyable, making one forget for a moment that Portman has now delivered precisely the same score for 12,403,983,921 different films. Such is the similarity between all her scores for films like this that they are truly all just entirely interchangeable - I don't begrudge her that, if she can continue to make money through turning out an identical product time after time then who can blame her? - but I guess if it's your money on the line, you might object to paying your $14.99 for something you probably already have several times in your collection.
For all that - and I have now said it almost as many times as Portman has written this score - it's just impossible to deny the attraction of her delightful music. Bouncy, pleasant, always so tuneful, no matter how curmudgeonly you might be, it's hard to end up with anything but a smile on your face. The main theme here is of course nothing particularly new, but it's so enjoyable it's hard to really argue with its composer's rather unchanging approach to her music. Varese's album is brief, at 28 minutes, but gets the job done very well and if you only have a small smattering of Portman in your collection then this one's certainly worth adding. It's not quite up to the level of her best work, Chocolat say, but that's only because it is based around one theme rather than two or three - otherwise, it's very much business as usual.