THE PARENT TRAP

 

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The Parent Trap (1998) is a remake of the original Parent Trap from 1961, starring Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson and introducing Lindsay Lohan.

 

 

The Parent Trap starring Lindsay Lohan

 

 

Plot Summary

 

Hallie Parker (Lohan) is an 11-year-old girl growing up in the Napa Valley with her father, Nicholas "Nick" Parker (Quaid), a successful vineyard owner and a viticulturist). Annie James (also played by Lohan) is a Londoner living with her wedding-gown-designer mother, Elizabeth "Lizzie" James (Richardson).

 

The two were separated as babies when the parents were divorced and each took one child. Neither twin knows the other exists until, by happenstance, they both are sent to Camp Walden in Maine for the summer. Rivals at first, the lookalikes soon discover the secret that had been kept from them, and concoct a plan to switch places to meet the parent each has never known and, perhaps, to reunite mom and dad. The plan takes on a new urgency when Annie, pretending to be Hallie, learns that her father is falling for his ambitious young publicist, Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix). They hatch a plan to get their parents back together ....... and the fun begins.

 

School holidays can be deadly for older cinema patrons but sometimes there are films for children that are well worth a visit for adults. Unusually, The Parent Trap is a children's film that can even be recommended for children by the most morally bound parent - although there is a divorce that may need to be explained away. The Parent Trap is cute, sugary and funny - and unashamedly so. This film is also a big favorite with girls from single parent, or otherwise separated families - where such children often dream their parents might get back together and will do almost anything to pave the way.

 

The Parent Trap was originally made in 1961 starring Haley Mills as a pair of twins who accidentally meet when they are eleven years old. Their parents divorced when they were babies. They then connive to get their parents back together. This is classic Disney material and the formula can and does work very well indeed in this modern version. Heaven only knows how the special effects are done but don't worry about that, just settle back and enjoy the film.

 

Young Lindsay Lohan plays both girls, complete with fabulous accents, sunny bright and distinctive personalities, appealing red hair, freckles and a great sense of fun. One of the girls has become a Londoner and one a Californian and the girls also sport very commendable English and American accents, as well as composites of the two accents when the girls switch places. It's also pleasing to see young girls being given the sorts of lightly rebellious antics to frolic with as are usually reserved for young boys. The story begins in a New England summer camp where practical jokes are the go, although the film is careful to keep nastiness well out of the way. It would be hard to accuse Lindsay Lohan's twins of any serious crime in any case. 

 

The girls decide to switch places so they can each meet their Mum and Dad. In true Hollywood style both parents are rich and attractive and they of course each have hired help (Lisa Anne Walter and Simon Kunz) who are of course are going to fall in love. But then we must have the wicked stepmother and this is provided by Meredith, a gold digger who's out to score the very rich hand of Dad. She's played with appropriate relish by Sharon Stone look alike Elaine Hendrix. The story really revolves around the parents, played by Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid. 

 

You can settle back and wait for the inevitable to happen, because we just know that this is going to be one of those "happily ever after" efforts where Mummy and Daddy will again fall in love and properly become parents for these two very cute and loving girls. Along the way you will enjoy some good laughs.

 

 

Cast overview, first billed only:

Lindsay Lohan

....

Hallie Parker/Annie James

Dennis Quaid

....

Nick Parker

Natasha Richardson

....

Elizabeth James

Elaine Hendrix

....

Meredith Blake

Lisa Ann Walter

....

Chessy

Simon Kunz

....

Martin

Polly Holliday

....

Marva Kulp, Sr.

Maggie Wheeler

....

Marva Kulp, Jr.

Ronnie Stevens

....

Grandpa Charles James

Erin Mackey

....

Hallie/Annie Acting Double

Joanna Barnes

....

Vicki Blake

Hallie Meyers-Shyer

....

Lindsay

Maggie Emma Thomas

....

Zoe

Courtney Woods

....

Nicole

Katerina Graham

....

Jackie

 

 


Also Known As:


Disney's The Parent Trap (USA) (complete title)
MPAA: Rated PG for some mild mischief.

 

 

Box Office

 

The movie entered the box office charts at number 2 on 31 July 1998. It ended up with a U.S. gross of over $66 million.

 

 

Trivia

 

  • Camp Walden (as Camp Inch of the 1961 film) is actually based upon an existing camp in North Carolina called Camp Crestridge for Girls.

  • Lohan, at the time known only for her television commercial appearances and as Alli Fowler on Another World, made her motion-picture debut in this film.

  • There are many references to the original The Parent Trap from 1961 including the use of the Sherman Brothers song, "Let's Get Together".

    • Meredith talks to Reverend Mosby, a character from the original film, on her cell phone. Similarly, Annie calls Mildred Plotka.

    • Lindsay Lohan sings the song "Let's Get Together," from the original film, at the Stafford Hotel.

    • Actress Joanna Barnes played the "wicked girlfriend" and plays the mother of the wicked girlfriend in this version. Both characters are named Vicky.

    • The camp counselors, Marva Kulp Sr. and Jr., are named after Nancy Kulp, who played the younger of the camp counselors in the original.

  • The twins in this version are named after director Nancy Meyers' and producer Charles Shyer's daughters Annie Meyers-Shyer and Hallie Meyers-Shyer, both of whom have small parts in the movie. Hallie is playing a girl at camp at the beginning who asks where the Navajo bunk is, and Annie is playing the towel girl at the hotel, who brings Elizabeth the first aid kit.

  • After Hallie arrives in London, her mother takes her to a photo shoot. While this is happening, we hear the song "Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles. This was one of the songs on "Abbey Road". As we watch Hallie and her mother on her way, they cross the same street the same way as The Beatles did for the cover photo of "Abbey Road". Even the cars on the side of the road are the same.

  • The lost boy who shows up at the girls camp is played by Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan's real-life brother. (Lindsay's siblings regularly appear as extras in her movies). When Hallie arrives in London and meets Martin at the airport, the audience can see Lindsay Lohan's mother holding her brother Dakota. Beside her is Lindsay's other brother Michael and sister Aliana.

  • Writer and director Nancy Meyers handpicked Lohan to play the dual role of the twins in the film, and phoned the Lohan household herself to inform the actress that she had landed the part.

  • Michelle Trachtenberg was considered for the role(s) of the twins. Coincidentally, the actress' birthday falls on October 11, the same day as Hallie and Annie's in the film.

  • The man who weds the parents at the beginning is played by the film's director of photography, Dean Cundey.

  • The scene where Annie and Hallie are lying in bed and the camera pans from the moon, to the parents' picture, to the twins, took six hours to get right.

  • When this movie was shown on Disney Channel, the scene where Hallie pierces Annie's ears is cut out, as well as when Annie (Hallie) takes a sip of the wine.

 

External links

 

 

 

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