Thursday, June 30, 2016
52 Films By Women: The Parent Trap (1998)
As part of the #52FilmsByWomen pledge, my first film review for the series is the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap directed by Nancy Meyers.
The Parent Trap follows the story of Hallie Parker and Annie James (Lindsay Lohan) who are two identical twins that were separated after their parents (Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson) got divorced and first meet while at summer camp. While there, they decide to trade places and concoct a plan to get their parents back together.
To me, what really makes the film work and holds it together is the performances by the main cast. The females in the cast especially. Lindsay Lohan gives a terrific dual performance as the two identical twins and is a reminder of the talent she possesses yet sadly would slowly become wasted. I also thought Natasha Richardson, may she rest in peace, was a real standout as she managed to blend both maternal grace and frantic comedic prowess and sometimes in the same scene. Dennis Quaid was also terrific as the father, consistently possessing a sly charm that makes you realize why the mother fell in love with him yet wonder why they would be so far apart.
Honestly, there isn't much that I can think of that I hate about this movie. Its story is fun, touching and pretty simple while being successfully anchored by its technically three main performances. All of them well-directed by Nancy Meyers who, to me, allows her actors to be as naturalistic as possible. I would say that this is even my overall consensus. Its simple, family friendly story is elevated by the naturalistic performances of its main trio. The film itself isn't anything groundbreaking but as I said, it's a fun family film.