The Parent Trap starring Lindsey Lohan, Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson (as the parents who are trying to be “trapped” together) is a steady if unspectacular film. In this update of the 1961 movie, Lohan plays both Hallie Parker and Annie James. Hallie is a cool chick from California while Annie is a proper London Lady. They meet up at summer camp and decide to put together the family they have always wanted. While this is a kids movie, I found that there was enough spunk and charm (Nancy Meyers did direct this movie after all!), that it could go beyond just kids and appeal to certain grown-ups as well.
What really impressed me about this movie was how at such a young age, we see that Lindsey Lohan had all the makings of a star. In fact, unlike a lot of her peers, she has seemed to ditch these type movies in favor of more risqué fair. Okay, I know that Herbie: Fully Loaded fly in the face of that comment, but I dare someone like Hilary Duff to tackle a movie like Mean Girls.
Updating a Classic
This is a pretty standard piece on what the creators of this movie went through when they created it. We get a little bit of behind the scenes footage of Lohan getting to the set, we hear what the director and actors think of the material and basically this seems like it’s all done from a child's perspective.
”Accent on Fun” and “How Hallie Became Annie” Featurettes
As Lohan plays a British dame she obviously needed to sound like one. This tiny featurette walks us through process of how she went about achieving this. Yet, the person we see the dialect coach working with isn’t Lindsey Lohan. Interesting. In the “How Hallie Became Annie” Featurette the audience is treated to all the effects of how a “twin was created out of single person”. I had always wondered how this was done and I have to admit, I think it’s my favorite thing about this DVD. What is interesting sometimes is when you see really small adults (in their 30s or 40s lets say) standing in for kids Lohan’s age. That always seems to border on somewhere between the sad and the degrading.
Deleted Scene “Meeting The Queen”
This is a deleted scene in which the Lohan character visits Buckingham Palace. If one is really into this movie they can put on the director’s commentary and find out why it was taken out. I know why but I am not going to tell you.
This is done by Producer/Screenwriter Charles Shyer and Director/Screenwriter Nancy Meyers. In fact, the Director of Photographer is also on board talking about what went into making this movie. It’s so funny because I think we easily dismiss these movies as kids films, and the truth of the matter is that so much really goes into making them. These are kids movies but making them isn’t childsplay.
Widescreen (1.85:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This movie has all the designs of a modern day fairy tale. With the light, simplistic screen compositions and the strains of “that kind of music”, this film just seems to gently glide across the screen. There is nothing harsh or overstated about any of the colors used in this movie. It just is what it is and that is more then enough to get the point of this story across. All told, The Parent Trap is a very well made movie that often seems to eschew the cheese for the cheerful.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This disk also includes a French language track and subtitles. As I stated above, this movie is buffered by “that kind of music”. What I mean by this as that whenever ANYTHING happens to one of the characters, music starts up that underscores that particular scene. Whether it’s the characters realizing they are twins, or playing a game of poker (usually a more contemporary type of music is used), this movie helps it’s audience better digest what is going on. And why shouldn’t it? This is made for kids, right?
Lohan is featured twice on the cover and she reminds me a lot of a young Mac Culkin. With the hands on the face, the look of trouble that she’s created but didn’t mean to... all of it. The back features the California Hallie and the London Annie as well as two, very small pictures of Quaid and Richardson. There is a good sized description of the movie, an extras listing, some tech specs and a credits list. Like I said, steady if not spectacular.
The Parent Trap was an enjoyable movie. I know that there may be some of you out there wondering why a 31 year old man enjoys watching children’s movies. I say this because I am often told that I am not discerning and that I like everything. Well, let me just say this isn't true. I may go easier on the kids fare only because I go into it knowing what it is. This movie isn’t going to be some amazing piece of film that I have never seen before. It isn’t going to dazzle me out of my computer chair, and force me to rethink everything I know about modern cinema.
I go into these movies hoping to be entertained and not get the idiot shivers. For the most part, The Parent Trap succeeds very well in both of these departments.
The Parent Trap was released July 28, 1998.