What You Need To Know:
What makes this movie work is a fine sense of timing and comic sensibility. The movie affirms marriage, the need for both parents and moral values that most American's hold dear. Even the Butler and the nanny make the right moral choices, although they also provide the comic relief for several of the scenes. The only troubling parts of the movie are one practical joke played on Meredith where she almost swallows a lizard, and several exclamations which invoke God, such as "God, help me." In the final analysis, THE PARENT TRAP deserves many kudos such as cute, adorable, funny, winsome, lovable, moral, life affirming, family affirming, family friendly, entertaining, enjoyable, and heartwarming
(C, LL, V, S, AA, D, M) Christian worldview affirming marriage, family & God; 1 obscenity (mild) & 11 exclamations evoking God such as "God, I hope he likes me," "Oh God, please help me," & "Oh, my God," but not said in a profaning manner; lots of practical camp jokes including pratfalls & being hit by water balloons, scary ear piercing, practical hiking jokes including woman almost swallows lizard, & fencing scene with full regulation padding; no onscreen nudity although suggested practical joke of camp girls taking another girls clothes; some kissing, petting & sexual innuendo; one parent has a vineyard so wine is a central element of the plot & one scene of drunkenness mildly rebuked; and, miscellaneous immorality including telling borderline lies & dealing in deception to bring parents together which is not rebuked.
Most remakes fail to equal the original, but Director Nancy Meyers’s remake of THE PARENT TRAP is not only better than the original, but also one of the best Walt Disney Pictures movies released in quite some time. This is not what one would expect, since most moviegoers know the storyline about how little Hallie Parker and Annie James (both played by newcomer, Lindsay Lohan) meet at camp and slowly discover that they are identical twins, separated at birth when their parents Nick Parker (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson) split up. Once they discover their identity, their goal is to bring their parents together, and the butler, the nanny and their grandfather help them do just that.
The foil is the new love interest in Nick Parker’s life, Meredith Blake, played with such venom by Elaine Hendrix that Meredith is almost meaner than Cruella DeVil. What makes this movie work is a fine sense of timing and comic sensibility.
The movie opens on a tight shot of the Bible as Nick and Elizabeth take their vows aboard the Queen Elizabeth II steaming toward Europe. Cut to eleven years later, when Hallie Parker and Annie James show up at Camp Walden in Maine. After an initial contest of wit and wills to see who is the best, the two girls realize they are twins, separated at birth by their parents. Soon, the two hatch a plot to bring their parents back together, but find that there is an obstacle in the person of their father’s new love interest, Meredith Blake. Eventually, the nanny, the butler and even their grandfather join with the twins to try to bring the family back together.
This entertaining movie affirms marriage, the need for both parents and many moral values that most Americans hold dear. Even the Butler and the nanny make the right moral choices, although they also provide the comic relief for several of the scenes.
The only troubling parts of the movie are one practical joke played on Meredith where she almost swallows a lizard, and several exclamations, such as “Oh, my God,” and “God, I hope he likes me” and “God, please help me.” These are not used profanely, but they are on the border and will concern some parents. Knowing screenwriter director Nancy Meyers and screening/producer Charles Shyer, who were responsible for the remake of FATHER OF THE BRIDE, and taking into account the use of these exclamations in the movie, these may best be interpreted as mini-prayers, but others may judge otherwise.
Even so, THE PARENT TRAP deserves many kudos such as cute, adorable, funny, winsome, lovable, moral, life affirming, family affirming, family friendly, entertaining, enjoyable, heartwarming, and so on. It had the audience laughing, crying and enjoying every scene. THE PARENT TRAP deserves to be discovered for what it is: a great re-make of a great story about the need for parents and children to be together.