Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

The Parent Trap (1998)

Released

Latest Home Video

May 31, 2001

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

127

Director

Nancy Meyers

Cast

Lindsay Lohan

Dennis Quaid

Natasha Richardson

Elaine Hendrix

Lisa Ann Walter

Studio

1998 Walt Disney Pictures

Still shot from the movie: The Parent Trap (1998).

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Reviewed by

Overall A-
ViolenceA-
SexB
LanguageB
Drugs/Alcohol--
Run Time127

Making the Grades

If you've never heard of Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, you probably don't stick around to read movie credits. This producing and directing team are about the only people I know of who are capable of taking an old movie and making it better. Remember the new Father Of The Bride and its successful sequel starring Steve Martin? They masterminded those films, and not only improved upon the original, but put new life into Martin's career. Disney's new remake of its classic Parent Trap couldn't have been put into better hands.

Twin sisters, Hallie and Annie (Lindsay Lohan), are separated at birth by a divorce. Ten years later they meet at camp, not knowing they are related. But the discovery soon happens, and now their goal is to bring mom (Natasha Richardson) and dad (Dennis Quaid) back together. So they agree to switch places, and go home to meet the "other" parent. However, a crisis looms when Annie discovers her father has a fiancee and the impending marriage is just two weeks away.

This movie is a trap within itself. Any other writer of family comedy would get snared into stupid sight gags, slapstick relief, and stretching out the revelation of the criss-crossed twins until the last possible moment -- but not this time. Shyer and Myers have skillfully revealed the surprises at all the right moments, giving Parent Trap an intelligent feel not often found in this genre. With Lindsay Lohan's superb performance as both twins, along with the seamless effect of both girls on screen, this over two hour film entertains from start to stop.

A few sexual comments, an overabundant use of alcohol (Quaid's character owns a vineyard), and terms of Deity used as expletives are the movie's major shortcomings for family viewing. However, it redeems itself by showing the damage caused by the real parent trap: Divorce. By working together and sacrificing for each other, the characters in The Parent Trap may help remind some parents that children always lose in divorce.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: G

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katv says: Sep. 12, 2010

Although this film has little physical violence it includes nasty practical “jokes” which I think should take its A rating down to at least a C.  The message of the movie seems to be that if you take a dislike to someone then emotional violence or nastiness is the way forward.  At the camp the twins engage in a vendetta at each other and their close friends.  My children who have not been exposed to that sort of thing reacted in puzzlement, wondering what on earth was going on.  We certainly did not see any joke in someone waking up screaming because she had been covered in syrup while she slept.

Later in the movie the twins way of discouraging the father and his fiancee from marrying is not to expose the financee’s insincerity and desire to live off his money.  Their way of expressing their anger is to be so nasty to her that she cannot contenance marrying if the twins live with the father. 

Examples of their nastiness include
having discovered that the fiancee is terrified of lizards, they drop one in her hair from where it crawls down her face as she is screaming and into her mouth,
the fiancee is exhausted on a hike, so the twins secretly fill her rucksac with rocks,
while the fiancee sleeps the twins drag her air bed out of the tent and launch it into the lake. 

I would not want anyone to do this to me or my loved ones.  I don’t even think that this is justified behaviour towards our supposed enemies.  (Its why on the wider scale, society frowns upon torture of criminals or suspects).  I find no humour in seeing people being bullied and terrorised. 

Maybe this site considers such violence and cruelty OK because it is not physical?  As a psychotherapist, as a mother and a citizen I do not.

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