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.