The Parent Trap (1998) is about twin sisters Annie and Hallie, who were separated at birth and plot to get their divorced parents back together. It stars a young Lindsay Lohan as both Annie and Hallie, and Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as the girls’ parents. The Parent Trap is a remake of the 1961 version starring Hayley Mills as the twin sisters. I think movie remakes are lazy, but I love this movie! There’s never a dull scene and I think the actors did a great job playing their parts.
The Parent Trap was my introduction to Lohan and because of her, I tried to cut my hair like Hallie when I was in fifth grade, which I got in trouble for. Lohan was awesome as Annie and Hallie; think about all the lines she had to memorize, my goodness! Both girls are so different too. One is prim and proper, while the other is bold and carefree.
That poker scene is a classic! Annie is whooping everyone’s tush at poker, then all of a sudden, Hallie shows up (while “Bad to the Bone” plays upon her entrance) and beats her at her own game. The pranks she pulled on Annie were really clever for an 11-year-old. After Annie has to jump in the lake naked as part of their deal, Hallie steals her clothes. She also sets up traps in Annie’s cabin, which results in Annie being hit with water balloons, a girl covered in honey, one girl with green hair, and the camp directors being dumped with chocolate and covered with pillow feathers.
The other actors had great chemistry with Lohan, which was fun to watch on screen. Quaid and Richardson were really believable in their roles, especially Quaid. The dude was about to get remarried and as soon as he saw his ex-wife, he couldn’t take his eyes off her! Richardson was so beautiful and it’s hard watching this movie now, knowing that she died in March 2009. I do find it odd, though, that she became a wedding dress designer, despite her first marriage not working out. But hey, you can’t let your personal life affect your dreams, right?
Quaid looks like that caring father who loves his children. When Nicholas, Hallie and Annie’s dad, found out that he had Annie with him the whole time, he wasn’t mad, he was just happy to see his long-lost daughter that he hadn’t seen in years. Plus, we can’t forget about that scene when he chose the girls over Meredith, finally breaking their engagement (oops, spoiler alert). Nicholas is the type of guy that you can trust, loves horseback riding, camping, and spending time with his family. Because of his down-to-earth personality, you can’t even tell he’s wealthy and owns a successful vineyard.
Then, there’s Chessy and Martin, the lovebirds that get engaged at the end of the film. Ok fine, Chessy is Hallie’s nanny that lives with Hallie and Nicholas in Napa Valley, California; Martin is the butler that lives with Annie and her family in London, England. What a coincidence that the nanny and butler eventually fall in love? I thought that was a genius idea! Martin was also hilarious; I’ll never forget seeing him in a speedo as he was about to head to the pool and Elizabeth, the girls’ mom, looked at him with pure confusion.
Now, Meredith was a great villain. She just looks like someone that is up to no good. Elaine Hendrix was unbelievable as Nicholas’ young, gold-digging fiancée. I loved the tone in her voice, her fake smile, and how she delivered her lines. She had Nicholas fooled, but Hallie and Annie, even the dog, were able to see right through her “so-called” innocent eyes. If Hallie’s pranks were good alone, imagine what both girls could do together. They put a lizard on Meredith’s head, put rocks in her backpack, and pushed her mattress across the lake (while she was sleeping on it).
My favorite scene in the film is when Hallie cuts Annie’s hair because I love makeovers! It’s exciting watching people get a new look and I think Lohan rocked the short hair. There were so many great scenes in The Parent Trap, to be honest. The fencing battle, when the girls discover that they’re twin sisters, when Annie meets her father for the first time and Hallie meets her mother, when Nicholas shows Elizabeth his wine collection, and so much more. Even that kiss between Nicholas and Elizabeth at the end was hot!
Is it better than the original? I’ve only seen the 1961 film once in its entirety, so I can’t say. I’m attached to the 1998 remake because it’s part of my childhood and one of my favorite movies that I never get sick of. However, there are things from both films that I prefer. From the 1961 film, I love the sarcasm and humor, the psychopathic villain, the prank where Sharon cuts the back of Susan’s dress, the dinner scene where the girls perform “Let’s Get Together,” and the tension between the parents throughout most of the film. From the remake, I love the ripped photograph of the girls’ parents, the build-up of the parents’ rekindled romance, the combination of Oreos and peanut butter, and that the girls were younger (since they were 13 years old in the original film).
Both films are special and entertaining in their own ways. Going back to the 1998 remake, however, it’s a fun, family film with a lot of heart, and the actors were fantastic! I’d give The Parent Trap (1998) a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
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