THE PARENT TRAP
The Parent Trap (1998) is a remake of the original Parent Trap from 1961, starring Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson and introducing Lindsay Lohan.
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The Parent Trap was originally made in 1961 starring Haley Mills as a pair of twins who accidentally meet when they are eleven years old.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.
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.
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