The Parent Trap 2-Movie Collection
The Parent Trap (November 7/05)
It's impossible to discuss The Parent Trap without devoting some time to its far superior remake, which - despite the fact that both films feature many of the same beats and gags - comes off as a much more entertaining and heartwarming piece of work. Identical twins Sharon and Susan (both played by Hayley Mills) were separated at birth, but are shocked to encounter one another at a summer camp for girls. The two decide to trade places in order to meet the parent they've never known, much to the chagrin of mom Maggie (Maureen O'Hara) and dad Mitch (Brian Keith). The Parent Trap possesses exactly the kind of genteel vibe that one might expect from a circa-1960s Disney flick, complete with colorful (yet completely styleless) direction and an over-the-top, thoroughly detestable villain. But the palpable feeling of magic that was so prominent in the Lindsay Lohan update is absent here, a problem that's exacerbated by an overlong running time and the acceptable but far-from-memorable performances (something that's particularly true of Keith's gruff turn as the father, a role that was charismatically filled by Dennis Quaid in the remake). And though the special effects are surprisingly seamless, The Parent Trap - when viewed alongside the '98 version - just can't help but feel irrelevant and dated by comparison.
The Parent Trap II (November 11/05)
Produced for the Disney Channel in the mid-'80s, The Parent Trap II is an utterly pointless sequel that makes its predecessor look like some kind of a masterpiece. This time around, the tables are turned on Sharon (Hayley Mills) as her daughter (Carrie Kei Heim) and twin sister (also played by Mills, of course) conspire to trick a single sports writer (Tom Skerritt) into falling in love with her - though she doesn't know a thing about it. There's really not much here worth recommending, as The Parent Trap II features a predictable and overtly silly storyline that has evidently been dumbed down to appeal solely to small children. The thoroughly unimpressive visuals and amateurish supporting performances certainly don't help matters, although Skerritt is surprisingly charming as the befuddled would-be boyfriend. Add to that several incredibly dated references (a character is tricked into leaving the room by the promise of a hunky boy who resembles Ralph Macchio), and you've got a complete waste of time that's highly unlikely to appeal to fans of the original.