ⓘ The Parent Trap (1998 film)

The Parent Trap (1998 film)

ⓘ The Parent Trap (1998 film)

The Parent Trap is a 1998 American romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name and an adaptation of Erich Kastners German novel Lottie and Lisa.

Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson star as a divorced couple who separated shortly after their identical twin daughters birth; Lindsay Lohan stars in her film debut as both twins, Hallie Parker and Annie James, who are fortuitously reunited at summer camp after being separated at birth. David Swift wrote the screenplay for the original 1961 film based on Lottie and Lisa. The story is comparable to that of the 1936 Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls. Swift is credited along with Meyers and Shyer as co-writers of the 1998 version.


1. Plot

In 1986, American winery owner Nicholas "Nick" Parker and British wedding gown designer Elizabeth "Liz" James meet, fall in love, and get married over the course of a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth 2. However, shortly after the birth of their identical twin daughters, Annie and Hallie, they get divorced and each has sole custody of one girl. Nick raises Hallie in Napa Valley, California and Elizabeth raises Annie in London, England.

Eleven years and nine months later in the summer of 1998, Nick and Elizabeth coincidentally send their daughters to Camp Walden, a girls sleep away camp in Maine. Annie and Hallie, who do not know each other, meet after a fencing match and take an immediate dislike to one another.

Annie and Hallie’s dislike for each other grows and they begin to pull a series of pranks on each other. After a prank goes too far, the two are isolated together as punishment until camp is over. They ecstatically discover that they are twins and hatch a plan: for each girl to switch and meet the parent she has never met and reunite them. After a makeover, where Annie gets a haircut and pierces her ears, Hallie imitates Annies British accent and flies to London to meet their mother, maternal grandfather Charles, and the James butler, Martin.

Annie imitates Hallies American accent, and flies to Napa Valley to meet their father, Hallies nanny Chessy, and their dog Sammy. Eventually the plan unravels, as Charles catches Hallie sneaking out to a phone booth to call Annie in California, and gets her to confess that she is Hallie over a walk in the park. Soon after, Chessy is suspicious of "Hallies" behavior, and Annie confirms her suspicions. After discovering that their father is engaged to the child-hating gold digger Meredith Blake, Annie and Hallie come clean and tell their parents they switched, it was part of their plot to reunite Elizabeth and Nick by falsely telling Elizabeth that Nick wants to meet her in San Francisco. Chessy, Martin, and Charles decide to help the girls plan, and want to help them get their parents back together. Nick is shocked, but delighted to see Elizabeth for the first time in years, and to learn that hes had Annie in his care since the end of camp. Meanwhile, Chessy and Martin grow romantically attracted to each other.

The girls pull out all the stops, including recreating the night their parents met, by having Charles pay to rent out a yacht for an evening, and having Chessy and Martin act as a waitress and sommelier respectively. However, they ultimately fail to rekindle Nick and Elizabeths relationship. The twins resort to a last-ditch effort, by demanding a three-day family camping trip, refusing to reveal which twin is which until after they return; Elizabeth tricks Meredith into taking her place on the camping trip.

Annie and Hallie play a number of pranks on Meredith, who becomes enraged after waking up in the middle of the lake on her air mattress and gives Nick an ultimatum; choose either the girls or her. Nick, finally seeing Meredith for who she truly is, chooses the girls over Meredith much to her dismay, and as a result, she angrily breaks off the engagement. Being a responsible father, Nick punishes the girls for their mischief; however, he comments to Elizabeth that he will have to thank them one day.

Nick shows Elizabeth his wine collection, including the one from their wedding. Both realize they still have feelings for one another, but decide it is better to go their separate ways. Elizabeth and Annie later board a flight for London, but when they arrive, they find Nick and Hallie waiting for them having taken a faster flight on the Concorde. Nick realizes his previous mistake of not going after Elizabeth when she left him and proposes to her. Elizabeth yields to Nicks unwavering confidence and tearfully accepts. Photos show Nick and Elizabeth getting remarried aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, with Annie and Hallie as bridesmaids, while Charles also presenting, and Martin proposing to Chessy.


2. Cast and characters

  • J. Patrick McCormack as Les Blake, Merediths father.
  • Simon Kunz as Martin, the James familys butler, who falls in love with Chessy.
  • Polly Holliday as Marva Kulp Sr., the owner and director of Camp Walden.
  • Elaine Hendrix as Meredith Blake, a 26-year-old child-hating publicist who is planning to marry Nick for his money.
  • Dennis Quaid as Nicholas "Nick" Parker, Annie and Hallies father, a wealthy American vineyard owner.
  • Lindsay Lohan as Hallie Parker and Annie James, eleven-year-old twin sisters who were separated after birth. Following their parents divorce, they were raised separately with no knowledge of each others existence - until they meet at summer camp by chance. Erin Mackey was Lohans acting double for the scenes where the twins appear together.
  • Ronnie Stevens as Charles James, Elizabeths wealthy father and Annie and Hallies maternal grandfather. After he catches Hallie on the phone with Annie, she tells him about switching places.
  • Lisa Ann Walter as Chessy, Nick’s housekeeper and Hallies nanny. She meets and falls in love with Martin. She also discovers that "Hallie" is actually Annie after noticing her strange behavior.
  • Natasha Richardson as Elizabeth "Liz" James, Annie and Hallies mother, a famous British wedding gown designer.
  • Joanna Barnes as Vicki Blake, Merediths mother.
  • Maggie Wheeler as Marva Kulp Jr., Marva Sr.s daughter and assistant.

Lohans mother, Dina, and siblings, Michael, Aliana and Cody, all appear in uncredited cameos at the airport.


3. Production

Principal photography started on July 15, 1997, in London, United Kingdom, and continued in Napa Valley AVA, San Francisco, Lake Arrowhead, and Los Angeles, California.


4.1. Reception Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% approval rating with an average rating of 6.8/10 based on 50 reviews. The websites consensus states: "Writer-director Nancy Meyers takes the winning formula of the 1961 original and gives it an amiable modern spin, while young star Lindsay Lohan shines in her breakout role." Metacritic gave the film a score of 64/100, based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert each gave the film three stars. Critic Kenneth Turan called Lohan "the soul of this film as much as Hayley Mills was of the original", going on to say that "she is more adept than her predecessor at creating two distinct personalities".

Lohan won a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film.


4.2. Reception Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $11.148.497 in 2.247 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office, behind Saving Private Ryan. By the end of its run, The Parent Trap grossed $66.308.518 domestically and $25.800.000 internationally, totaling $92.108.518 worldwide. The film was released in the United Kingdom on December 11, 1998, and opened on #3, behind Rush Hour and The Mask of Zorro.


5. Remake

In February 2018, it was revealed that remakes of several films are in development as exclusive content for Walt Disney Studios upcoming streaming service Disney+; with one of those named in the announcement being The Parent Trap.

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  • twins Susan and Sharon in the Disney film The Parent Trap 1961 Her performance in Whistle Down the Wind a 1961 adaptation of the novel written by her mother
  • two television movies aired on The Wonderful World of Disney: Parent Trap III and Parent Trap Hawaiian Honeymoon. The Creel sisters, Monica, Joy, and
  • also appeared in the 1962 film Carry On Cruising, the 1996 film Brassed Off, and the 1998 film The Parent Trap He co - narrated Noggin the Nog with Oliver
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  • relationship. The film was released theatrically in Sweden on 23 October 1998 and first premiered internationally at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. The film received
  • The Client. Holliday s notable roles in films include All the President s Men, Moon Over Parador Mrs. Doubtfire, the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap

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