The Parent Trap (1998) (2024)

The Parent Trap (1998) (1)

The Parent Trap is a 1998 family comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name and an adaptation of Erich Kästner's German novel Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen).

David Swift wrote the screenplay for the original 1961 film based on Lottie and Lisa. The story is comparable to that of the 1936 Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls.[4] Swift is credited along with Meyers and Shyer as co-writers of the 1998 version. The film received positive reviews.

Nicholas Parker (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson) are divorced parents of identical twin daughters. Lindsay Lohan (starring in a dual role in her film debut) plays Hallie and Annie. In the divorce, Elizabeth takes Annie and Nicholas takes Hallie. Annie grows up as an English Rose in London, England (with a British accent to match) with their mother at their grandfather's house, while Hallie grows up as an All-American California Girl in Napa Valley, California with their father.

At age 11, they meet at a summer camp and pull malicious pranks on each other. Eventually, the camp director falls into one of Hallie's traps in Annie's bunkhouse. As punishment, she orders both girls to pack their bags and send them to an isolation bunkhouse and isolation table until camp is over. When they talk about their lives, they realize that they each have half of a picture of their parents. When they put them together, they realize they're twin sisters, and they decide to switch places to get their parents back together. They work especially hard to perfect imitating each other's accents, and the day camp is over, Annie gives Hallie her passport to go to London, England to meet their mother, and Annie goes to Napa Valley, California to meet their father without anyone suspecting anything.

Hallie is overjoyed to see Martin the butler, their grandfather and their mother, while Annie is overjoyed to meet their father and Hallie's nanny, Chessy. Hallie's dog, Sammy barks in a panic, because her scent is different, and Chessy is worried. Annie then learns from Chessy that their father got involved with a ferocious, child-hating gold-digger named Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix). Annie later calls Hallie to tell her about Meredith, and Hallie is shocked. Annie eventually tells Chessy about the switch, and she hugs Annie while crying happy tears. When their father tells Annie he wants to marry her, she gets hysterical, and even starts speaking in French (their mother was a wedding gown designer, and she spoke French). After sending a 911 message to their grandfather's fax machine, Hallie runs to a payphone and talks to Annie. After hanging up, her grandfather is standing there shocked, and tells Hallie they need to go for a walk to talk about what happened. When they return home, Hallie goes to their mother's bedroom and hides under the bed sheets while telling her the truth. Elizabeth is shocked, but happy to see Hallie again. While they were hugging, her bedroom door opens, and Martin is crying happy tears while their grandfather tries not to laugh.

While packing to go to California, Elizabeth tells Martin she and Nicholas came up with the arrangement of each taking one twin so they would never have to see each other again. She also asks Martin to accompany her on the trip. Hallie's dog, Sammy joins Annie, Nicholas, and Chessy at the Stafford Hotel, and he snaps at Meredith when she tries to pet him. Chessy calms him down, and they meet Meredith's parents, Vicky (Joanna Barnes from the original 1961 film) and Les Blake (J. Patrick McCormack). Afterward, Hallie, Martin, and Elizabeth arrive at the hotel, with Elizabeth drunk after drinking vodka, claiming she's never had vodka before. When Sammy sees Hallie in the elevator, he barks, jumps over a hurdle, and into the elevator and Hallie hugs him. Afterward, Annie and Chessy see Elizabeth drunk, and Annie tells Chessy she's only had one glass of wine in her entire life and chose that day to get totally zonked. When Meredith and Nicholas are in the elevator, he sees Elizabeth and nearly falls over as the elevator door closes.

In the hotel hallway, Elizabeth is overjoyed to see Annie again. When they go inside their hotel room, Martin gets ready to go swimming, and he and Chessy meet for the first time, and are instantly attracted to each other. Elizabeth is lying down with a towel on her head, and is upset with the girls, because their father wasn't told about her arrival. She later meets Meredith at the bar and is asked to design her wedding gown without yet knowing that she's her ex-husband's fiancee. Later at the swimming pool, Nicholas sees Elizabeth and tries to get to her, but bumps into one of the waiters and falls into the swimming pool. Nicholas is pleasantly surprised to see Elizabeth again, and is shocked to learn that they reunited the girls at summer camp, and that they switched places. He's overjoyed to see Annie again, and shocked Hallie was in London all that time. Meredith sees Nicholas and Elizabeth together, and she's shocked to learn that Hallie is a twin, along with Elizabeth being the twins' mother and Nicholas' ex-wife.

Later that night, the twins try to recreate their first date, but Elizabeth insists on returning home to London. The twins stop them by planning a family camping trip, and Elizabeth tricks Meredith into taking her place. During the trip, the twins pull malicious pranks on Meredith, and that night, they place her on a water raft and push her into the middle of the lake. The next morning, a bird sitting on her chest wakes her up. She screams, and when she sees herself in the middle of the lake, she screams: "Nicky!" loud enough so her voice echoed everywhere. She then stands up on the raft and falls into the lake. After walking out of the lake and kicking a tea kettle, she tells Nicholas to choose between her and the twins. He finally sees Meredith for what she really is, and he chooses the twins, and she screams, gives him back the engagement ring, and cancels the wedding.

When they return home, Nicholas looks at the engagement ring, and tells Elizabeth he has to remember to thank the girls one day. At bedtime, Sammy is resting on Hallie's bed while she and Annie are playing cards. Nicholas and Elizabeth talked about their situations with the girls, but Elizabeth still insists on returning to London with Annie. After 30 seconds, Nicholas and Hallie go to the airport and take the (now discontinued) Concorde, and arrive in London before Elizabeth and Annie. Hallie tells them they didn't want to lose them again, and Nicholas says he made a mistake not going after Elizabeth the first time she left, and he won't do that again, no matter how brave she is. Nicholas takes Elizabeth into his arms and kisses her, and they fall in love all over again. Hallie and Annie are overjoyed. The ending scene shows the remarriage of Nicholas and Elizabeth on the Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Ship, the same cruise ship they had their first wedding, along with wedding photos, including one with Martin proposing marriage to Chessy.

The Parent Trap (1998) (2024)
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