The movie took 45 minutes to actually get to the titular location...and yet, I didn't want the exposition to end! Upon seeing the movie poster, I wondered what 18-year-old Selena Gomez was doing in a buddy movie with two older actresses, but the relationship between them and each of their intricate pasts is actually revealed pretty evenly.
(*Spoiler Alert* Grace is a small-town bumpkin of sorts, whose best friend is an of-legal-age, stuck-in-a-rut waitress, who was high school rivals with Grace's stepsister, who's dealing with my-mom-died baggage. Are we up to speed now?)
There are some genuinely nice sisterhood of traveling pants moments - literally (ALL the dresses in Cordelia's luggage fitting ALL the girls?) and figuratively (Emma and Meg gushing about their respective beaux).
Selena Gomez does better than Miley Cyrus, carrying her first lead movie role, but methinks she needs to work on her "regular face" a little more. I have trouble working my own dead face, so I can't really judge her, but when she plays "regular girl," she gets extremely flat. Only when she's being awkward or snarky (like on "Wizards of Waverly Place") does her face shine. I guess it's lucky that her first lead movie role comes with a bitchy, British doppelganger. She is spot-on as Cordelia, the...well, bitchy, British doppelganger.
I've never been a fan of Leighton Meester, but I kind of get her appeal now. She's actually kinda funny and exuberant in a my-mom-died way.
Nerdy tidbit: All the place names look like they're written in the same font used in The 400 Blows. If you watch all the credits, you'll even see a quaint "FIN" at the end.