Film Fest Friday: The Parent Trap

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Every couple years I have a hankering to watch the original 1961 Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. It was a huge adventure when we would drive up from North Carolina to visit. Nana and Pop treated me like royalty, as I was the only grandchild for quite a while. Even as a little kid, I loved movies. In New Jersey, I got to rent several at one time and hole up in the cool, secret-bunker of the daylight basement, entertaining myself as only-children so often do. While I was watching movies, I was also doing art projects, and making forts out of chairs and blankets while directing the cats as my personal attendants. Pop would sit in his chair behind me, chain smoking, doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, and feeding the dog Brie and Snickers. Nana brought a continual stream of snacks for us, and when my mom complained, she said, “Oh, she’s on vacation!”

Some of the movies I most vividly remember watching in the basement bunker at Heller Way are Top Gun, Irreconcilable Differences, The Devil and Max Devlin, Lady & the Tramp, and The Parent Trap. That one was a big favorite because I had seen pictures of my mom in middle school, and she looked just like Hayley Mills but with dark hair. Same short mop-top hair cut, same pixie face, same slightly mischievous smile. I was fascinated by the fact that the two sisters were played by the same person (early movie magic!). I still find it to be pretty darn entertaining. It is well-written and a good story. Hayley Mills’s accent is adorable.

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One of the only movie “remakes” I have ever thought to be successful was 1998 version of The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan. Disney stayed very true to the original plot and kept all the elements that made it unique. They also added some twists that made it a little more creative.

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It doesn’t give me quite the same euphoric nostalgia as the Hayley Mills version. And I find it slightly sad to watch because it’s obvious that Lindsay Lohan is actually a decent actress and probably could have had a decent career if she’d had better adult guidance and a more commandeering stylist. She used to be so cute and funny!

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But slowly she has morphed into (I’m going to say it) a train wreck. She’s dead to me now. She has joined Kirsten Dunst in limbo until further notice.

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8 Comments

  1. Jen said,

    March 20, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Dude, I LOVE The Parent Trap. I swear I made my parents rent it for me all the time. To play in our ginormous vcr with the remote connected by a cable. And yeah, the remake is cute and well done, but just doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

  2. Brooke said,

    March 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Agree with every word. I can’t believe what she’s become!

  3. Jessica said,

    March 21, 2009 at 4:47 am

    I watched The Parent Trap until I knew all the words. Love, love, love that movie!

  4. Sally said,

    August 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I enjoyed your post so much. I’m a Jersey girl who, as a child, happened to look quite a bit like Haley Mills, as did your mom. I am also an only child, as you, and your telling of the “basement bunker” brought back memories of many art projects, forts of chairs and blankets, and being spoiled by grandparents. What a delightful journey you led me on this evening.

  5. aimee said,

    September 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    hi i think it is really good

  6. TINKERBELL19 said,

    November 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    love the movie

  7. leanne said,

    June 11, 2010 at 5:18 am

    hey yall dont be haten on lohan man…that’s ma girl…i love the remake but i never watched the origional….anyone cud tell me were i can rent it??


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