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The Parent Trap
In this remake of the classic Disney 1961 family film, separated twins discover each other and the parent they never knew. Switching places seems like the best way to reunite their unsuspecting...  View more >

Starring Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson

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Reviews Summary


Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This was a fine movie; not great, but the original wasn't great either. Disney has done a fine job of updating the characters. I went with an 8 year old girl and 2 boys ages 5 and 7. The 2 older children enjoyed the entire movie, the youngest was bored during at least half.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
THE PARENT TRAP (1998)

The story line is about two twins whose parents split when they were very young. The mother (Natasha Richardson) lives in London, and the father (Dennis Quaid) lives in California. The two girls meet at summer camp, and before, they did not know they were twins or what their parents were like.

If you want to see the movie The Parent Trap, don't go to a theater. Wait until it comes out on video. Then rent the old and new versions together, so you can see all the differences between the two movies. Then you can see how much overacting is done in the new Parent Trap.

The producers stereotype (in the new Parent Trap) the English butler (Simon Kunz), making him into a sobbing idiot, which is in some parts funny, but it makes for corny scenes frequently. The swordfight in the beginning is one of the corniest parts of the movie. Movies like this are sadly becoming Disney's par for kids' movies. The story and some lines were the same as in the original, which saved the movie from becoming a disaster. This, and having a superb sound track, were the movie's strong points.

Though as a whole it is a good family movie that younger kids will probably like, though I doubt if young kids will care about the music very much. But don't take your teenager to it.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
THE PARENT TRAP (1998)

The Parent Trap is a pretty good movie. Unfortunately, I have not seen the original 1961 version, so I can't compare them.

The actors do a pretty good job, especially Lindsay Lohan in the role of the twins, Hallie and Annie. Simon Kunz went a little over the top in the role of Annie and Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson)'s stereotyped English butler.

The plot and script are OK, though there are some corny, unrealistic scenes (such as the swordfight in the beginning, which reminds me of the duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader near the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI), and as I said before, a little too much stereotyping. But, they managed to avoid the family movie stereotype of the bad guys getting kicked in the crotch.

On the technical side, the visual effects of Lohan portraying two characters at once, are seamless. Sound and picture quality is also pretty good.

It's a pretty good family film, though it may be to long (123 minutes) to hold the attention of little kids.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
The Parent Trap (1998) By: Kristin O'Hara

Two identical girls, Annie, (Lindsay Lohan) living in England, and Hallie, (Lindsay Lohan) living in California, meet at camp and hate each other at first, but get to know each other and realize they're twins, and when their parents divorced, each parent took custody of one girl. Since Hallie, living with Dad (Dennis Quaid) has never seen her Mom, (Natasha Richardson) they decide to switch places and try to bring their parents back together, meeting several obstacles on the way, produced by a beautiful young woman who wants to marry Dad for his money.

The acting amazed me. Lindsay Lohan did a brilliant job of playing the two 11-year-old girls, while Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson really made the parents real. Elaine Hendrix plays the part of the villain, Meredith Blake, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Simon Kunz and Lisa Ann Walter played Mom's butler and Dad's nanny. They were good additions to the film. Everybody in the movie acted so well I almost forgot it wasn't real life!

Finally, I offer no criticism. It's great for everybody in the family. And it has a moral, too: Families stick together, no matter where they are.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
The Parent Trap As reviewed by: Allison M. Smith When two girls, Annie and Hallie, separated by their parents, meet up at summer camp, they plot to join their parents back together by changing places. When Annie goes to Hallie's dad's place they find a woman named Merideth Blake in their way.

The Parent Trap is a great family film. It gives you the idea of how lucky you are. This movie also makes you think. Example: If you're an only child with one parent you might have a twin.

For only one girl to play twins, Lindsay Lohan pulls it off beautifully. Not to mention her stand-in. She even fooled my neighbor, Chris. Although I wish the English twin could've been more detailed in her English vocabulary; such as using words like flat, lift ,etc. The American twin, Hallie could've been more tomboyish. Then it would've made her glad to have such a proper mom. Elaine Hendrix, the woman who played Meredith Blake, the greedy gold digger who tries to marry the dad, could really be hated. Disney has always managed to pull this off with villains. You will also see the growth of the two parents,(Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid),in love.

The background and scenery is great . In London you see beautiful statues, houses, gardens and towers. In California, you see rows of lush grapes, mountains, trees and great views. The houses are cool. One reminds you of a proper English manor. The other of an adobe.

Disney also throws in some of the old 60's version. Example: The mother of Merideth Blake is named Vicki. Remember, Vicki was the woman who tried to steal Hallie's father in the 60's version.

All and all, this is a good film and go see it. ****

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
"The Parent Trap" is that rare kind of romantic comedy, like the brilliant "Everyone Says I Love You", its a film that transports you right out of your theater seat, directly into the cinema and puts you right back, 130 minutes later, exhausted, happy, with a goofy grin on your face. "The Parent Trap" is that rare kind of film, which somehow makes you a better person as you leave the theater. What a ride! Blame it all on Lindsay Lohan, who gives the year's most ambitious and dynamic performance, as one person who plays two twins.

Based on the 1961 film which stars Hayley Mills, "The Parent Trap" takes this brilliant idea: what happens when two twins (after being seperated by their parents) surprisingly meet at a camp, decide to switch places and attempt to get their parents back together.

These girls are Hallie Jones the american and Annie James the brit(both played by Lohan). The scenes here are brilliantly set up, where everyone else thinks they are twin sisters yet the two have never even seen each other. I liked the way they keep apart, like in the mess hall where both twins are on lines and a camp supervisor is standing inbetween them. And the wonderful scene when they finally do meet, fencing.

At first they do not believe that this is a mirror image of themselves; and while at first I thought this was strange, I don't have a twin. Eventually, they do come together (over a bag of Oreos and Peanut butter, which is amazingly a favorite of mine), since they both have a piece of a picture of both their parents.

The plan then develops: Hallie will learn the rituals of Annie's life, and Annie will learn about Hallie. So far so good right? Hallie goes to London to finally meet Elizabeth the mom (Natasha Richardson), who is a fashion designer. Annie, in turn, goes to Napa Valley, California, to meet Nick the dad (Dennis Quaid), who owns a vineyard.

I loved how these scenes worked so well, and even the little details that went into it. Like the scene where Annie first gets into the Napa house, and the dog does not know who she is. Or when Hallie tastes some wine and critiques it like a critic. The movie even gets a little thrilling when all the identities are discovered and both families end up in San Fransisco for a hopeful meeting.

How a Disney film, directed by Nancy Meyers (who produced the gooey "Father of The Bride" movies, among others) became this good is beyond me. Call this film the sleeper of the decade, an instant classic. It works on a large scale because of the cast. I enjoyed Quaid, with that very goofy grin and attitude. Richardson is almost perfect, with a subtle charm and good character range. Their romance towards the end is very believeable. The supporting players were terrific, with Elanie Hendrix as the money-grabbing fiancee' of Nick's, Simon Kunz as Elizabeth's nutty butler, and Lisa Ann Walter as the housekeeper for Nick. Kunz and Walter even develop a cute little romance, which wasn't even needed in this film, but they did it anyways, to fantastic results.

Yet the real star in this film is Lindsay Lohan. A perky, beautiful 12 year old, Lohan is just one actress who had to play two parts, is such a demanding role, especially for a first time actress. Never at one point did I feel that Lohan was unrealistic or too childish in her performance, it is a true original. Both her characters were creative and very fresh. And above all, they were cool! The visual effects used to create the twins are seamless, I never at one point thought "Hey! That's an effects shot!" and just went with the story.

And I loved all the little details in the movie. The secret hand shake that Annie and her butler use (complete with a classic blues tune). The scene where Hallie (as Annie) walked on the same sidewalk as the cover of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" (complete with a still frame!) The soundtrack, which consists of mostly cool soul tunes. And many more.

And I also loved how the movie took its time as well to develop characters. Clocking at 128 minutes, this movie was like an epic as it told one huge story and never sped up so they could show it three times at a multiplex. While kids may get a little antsy, this is a good lesson film that 128 minutes of good storytelling beats 91 minute garbage flicks (so called "Family films") as "Flubber" and "Spice World".

I am still shocked to find a family movie of this caliber become one of the very best films of the year. This movie is almost a miracle; it would take a heart of stone to resist this masterpiece.

Grade: A+

Tech Review:

Picture: 4 The picture is solid with good colors and good black level. The picture almost looks like it is a Miramax film.

Sound: 4 The Dolby Digital soundtrack is very dynamic with a deep and wide music score that expands into the surround channels. The dialogue seems clear and natural.

Photography: 3.5 The film is well matted to 1.85:1, with good photography and camera angles. Super 35 would have been preferred, but we can't always get what we want.

Length: 128 minutes. Rated PG, no objectionable content. Walt Disney Films. jason_whyte@hotmail.com ICQ-4339199

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Disney's remake of The Parent Trap is a delight is see! I am such a fan of the original I doubted they could improve on the Hayley Mills version, but I was wrong. The updating makes this version fresh and timely. I was very pleased on the plot points that were changed for the ninties version. Linsey Lohan sparkles as the twins--she is going places. The parent's roles were improved greatly, it was far more believable that they could still be in love after 11years and 11months. Definately see this while it is still in the theaters--buy the video but remember-- then you will have to put up with household distractions and a small screen.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I really Liked this Parent Trapp better than the first one because it gives you more info. and it is a lot funnier.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Okay -- I'm a middle aged female "softy" who until I saw The Parent Trap -- I guess its been about 14 times, never ever saw a movie more than once. In fact, I've always thought seeing a movie more than once was stupid. Except for Good Will Hunting -- saw twice. But The Parent Trap, I guess, is justdifferent. The first time I saw it just brought up such childhood stuff for me that I was filledwith tears, rage, sadness, happiness for hours. Now 12 times later, I love the fact that each characteris genuinely loveable, likeable and very differentiated. Even Meredith. She was the classic "we lovedto hate her". Anyway -- seeing it over and over has given me the opportunity to really see differentdetails -- scenery -- the twins changes and ways of handling themselves when faced with challenges andthe different reactions of people around them. I think the movie is funny, entertaining, convincing and just touches a very special place in my heart. Generally butlers and nanny's in movies tend to be "extras". Here they were real people. Natasha Richardson was warm and lovely and convincing. The scene -- well I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it -- just suffice it to say that she performs with all of her heart and beauty and wit. Dennis Quaid -- is a "hunk" and made me "weak at the knees" as well. Naive at first, I appreciated his efforts as the movie went on. The twins -- were fantastic. A tremendous effort -- again we knew their distinct differences. The scenery is lovely -- worth noticing over and over. Both in London and California. THe music is always appropriate and moving. Nope, I have no kids -- never married -- but would go again and again. A good movie if you want a good cry or a good laugh.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Excellent family movie. Tends to slow down in the middle of the movie. The kid I was with started to fidget. But worth a see anyway.

May 8, 2003
I never saw the orginal 1961 movie, but after seeing the 1998 version, I couldn't care less. "The Parent Trap" was one of the best movie that I saw from that year. This movie is hip, orginal and fun. Can You Say Fun? Two twins from different divorce parents are trying to get them back together again. Biggest credit of all goes to Natasha Richardson who car door opening scene is memorable.
Jul 21, 2003
Very well done! Very enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Aug 18, 2014
I love it! Older kids should/can watch it. There are a couple of scary parts so 5 or younger might not want to watch it.

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