Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Parent Trap (1998) [PG] ****

Hallie Parker and Annie James (both played by Lindsay Lohan) are eleven year old girls who arrive at Maine's Camp Walden for eight weeks of summer fun. Annie lives in London with her mom Elizabeth (the late Natasha Richardson) a wedding gown designer, her grandfather (Ronnie Stevens) and their butler Martin (Simon Kunz). Hallie lives in the Napa Valley, California with her dad Nick (Dennis Quaid) a vineyard and winery owner, and their housekeeper Chessy (Lisa Ann Walter).

Initially the two girls are camp rivals in everything from fencing to poker. But when their rivalry escalates to messy practical jokes, the camp staff banishes the pair to the Isolation Cabin to cool off. There, Hallie and Annie discover that they're actually identical twins. Thrilled and excited by their discovery, they decide to switch places at the end of summer camp, so each one can get to know the parent she's never met, because Nick and Elizabeth had divorced eleven years earlier when the two girls were only babies.

The girls get away with the switch, and things seem to be going well until Annie discovers that Nick has fallen for Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) a scheming, manipulative PR rep he had hired to promote his winery, and whom Annie has nicknamed Cruella de Vil. With the wedding only two weeks away, Annie and Hallie have to come up with a plan to get Nick and Elizabeth back together before Meredith can trap Nick.

Written, directed and produced by the creative and formerly married team of Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (parents of two girls – you guessed it – Annie and Hallie) the film features a scintillating screenplay, sensitive direction, tight editing, beautiful costumes and sets (a Nancy Meyers trademark), gorgeous cinematography and sparkling performances by the entire cast, especially the incomparable Lindsay Lohan, who is on-screen virtually the entire film. If you have a preteen daughter or granddaughter, and you've never watched this film together, do yourself a favor. It's a real treat. 

Labels: adventure, comedy, drama, family, romance     
Internet Movie Database     
Metacritic 64/100     
Tomatometer (critics=86, viewers=69)


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