Caryn Waechter's staccato delivery of a story about a secret society of young teenage girls who come under fire after a jealous reject claims they perform perverse rituals in the woods has a good idea at its core, but spends itself instead on a number of Afterschool Special subplots involving such things as dealing with cancer and sexual abuse. With a much-prolonged ending and creepy Kal Penn as the guidance counselor no parent would ever want their child to see. Based on a story by Steven Millhauser.
The Story by Steven Millhauser
Oddly, Millhauser's 1994 story lacks the "good idea at its core" of the movie, disingenously shifting adult disillusionment onto adolescent girls. Marilyn Fu, who wrote the adaptation, understands kids somewhat better, at least in terms of their approach to modern life: the movie is chock full of cell phones, instant messaging, blogs, and Facebook. That said, the adaptation -- where the Sisterhood itself is concerned (not the many subplots) -- is reasonably accurate, and it's easy to see how it suggested the film's unusual structure.
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