The Parent Trap

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Kat

Plot: What’s it about?

Nick Parker (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson) met each other by chance aboard an aircraft, and from the start, sparks flew between the two. The two fall in love almost instantly, decide to get married, and even settle down to start a family. But when things start to go wrong, Elizabeth decides the time has come for her to return to England, so she leaves. They split custody of their twin girls, with one staying with each parent. Elizabeth reverts back to her maiden name, and raises her daughter Annie to be a prim and proper young woman, while Nick raises his daughter, Hallie to be a rough and tumble tomboy, reflective of her country upbringing. Over eleven years pass, and Annie is being sent off to summer camp, much to her dismay. While at this camp, she meets many children, puts her fencing skills to good use, and meets Hallie, who looks an awful lot like her. They (both played Lindsay Lohan) soon discover the truth, that they are twins, and they hatch a plan to switch places and reunite their parents when they are to be switched back. While it’s won’t be an easy task, the twins seem to be dedicated to finally having the family they’ve dreamed of.

While I didn’t care much for the original version of this movie, I found myself loving this edition. This is one of those movies you can just sit back and enjoy, without worrying about anything, you just have fun. Sure, the ending is predictable and cynical movie watchers will scoff at the carefree nature of the film, but I found it to be a lot of fun to watch. In fact, I am usually bored to tears by Disney live action, so it’s not like I am a big fan of this type of movie, there’s just a vibe I get from this film that I like. It never takes itself too seriously, which is one aspect of the movie that I really like. I tend to back to movies like this for repeat viewing, those movies which seem to openly admit to being nothing more than a fun and exciting couple of hours. While this movie runs over two hours, it never slips or drags on, every scene is packed and enjoyable. So, if you’re at the rental counter and are in need of a fresh and funny comedy for the whole family, this is a wonderful choice.

This film was brought to the screen by the creative team of producer Charles Shyer and director Nancy Myers, who also helped write the screenplay, along with David Swift. Shyer and Myers have also written other comedies together, including Father of the Bride, Father of the Bride II, Baby Boom, and Private Benjamin. The writing offers some new twists on the original, while keeping the spirit still active. The star of The Parent Trap is young Lindsay Lohan, who plays both of the twins. Lohan is excellent here, giving both twins distinct traits and gestures, even supplying a crack English accent to one of them. She also has the charisma and energy to entertain both younger viewers and adults, which is a rare trait in such a young actress. Dennis Quaid (Dragonheart, Any Given Sunday) and Natasha Richardson (Gothic, Nell) give terrific performances, but often they are just outshined by young Lohan. Another scene stealer in this movie is Elaine Hendrix (Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Superstar), who works very with Lohan here, creating some of the finest scenes.

Video: How does it look?

The Parent Trap is shown here in a non anamorphic widescreen transfer, which is framed at the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Colors are bright with no errors, flesh tones are natural, and contrast is correct and consistent. I didn’t detect any compression errors, and the print is in near pristine condition.

Audio: How does it sound?

Aside from the delightful Alan Silvestri score, audio is focused on dialogue, so most of the audio comes from the front channels. There are some times the surrounds kick in, but this material just doesn’t call for much surround use. Dialogue sounds very good, with consistent volume, and the score sounds great as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The only bonus feature is the theatrical trailer.

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