When it comes to remakes, I’m usually skeptical to the point of completely avoiding the remake in question. After all, Cheaper by the Dozen and Yours, Mine & Ours did nothing to change my view on the needlessness of remakes of forgotten family films.
However, The Parent Trap really isn’t all that forgotten. Year later, the original film remains in rotation on The Disney Channel and parents that grew up with old VHS copies have now purchased the DVD version to show their own children.
Before Lindsay Lohan became the infamous celebrity she is today, she took over the role of twin girls determined to reunite their estranged parents on separate continents. While I dare say that Lohan isn’t as charming as Hailey Mills, she still manages to remain cute and somewhat believable.
The story involves Hallie and Annie Parker, a set of twins who have never met and have no knowledge of the other. The two collide when they meet at summer camp and, after a few skirmishes, plot to reunite their parents.
Why the remake works in this instance is because the filmmakers didn’t go out of their way to change the film. Merely updating it a bit, but keeping much the same works. Fans of the original will even recognize that certain chunks of dialogue remain the same.
Where the film truly differs is in the ending, which for those who remember the original, might make sense. The 1961 film had a somewhat vague ending and while most audience members “got it,” there was still room for speculation. Was it a dream or was it real? The filmmakers changed this ending within the remake to make room for a more sentimental and somewhat mushy ending.
Kids, especially young girls, will love the characters of Hallie and Annie. Both characters are mischievous and fun and their antics will delight younger viewers. All in all, a surprisingly nice remake that will probably encourage young ones to ask to view the original.
The Parent Trap is available on DVD from Amazon.com.