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PARENT TRAP, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Two young redheads, Hallie and Annie (Lindsay Lohan), meet at Summer camp in Maine, and realise that they look remarkably alike. Soon, their common history opens up when they are banned to the isolation cabin for naughty behaviour. They piece together their short lives’ history; born twins, their parents separated soon after their birth; Annie grew up in London, living with her mother Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson), a hot-shot wedding gown designer, while Hallie lived with her father Nick (Dennis Quaid), a vineyard-owner, in Napa Valley. The sisters decide to switch sides, as Annie has never known her father and Hallie has never known her mother. They want the whole family together again. Their scheme seems to be working well, until Nick announces he is about to marry the gold-digging bimbo, Meredith (Elaine Hendrix). The girls decide it’s time to speed up their parents’ reunion……

"It’s a cute idea, although it actually defies anything more than passing scrutiny in its story details - as shown in this production. Twins, now almost 12, are brought up without even HEARING about each other, by parents who fell in and out of love in about a month, and have never corresponded since….. So avoid the story scrutiny and concentrate on the hokus pokus of motion picture arts and sciences. The twins, seamlessly and effectively played by the one and the only Lindsay Lohan, drive the film’s emotional core, and the parents and other grown ups provide fodder for laughs, longings and perhaps a touch of listlessness. It is one of those films that you probably enjoy despite its obvious weaknesses and frequently predictable development, because it is made so darned well. And Lohan is such a clever mix of preciousness and innocence. A Sunday afternoon movie, to be seen with family. And it’s probably a ‘cynics-and 20-somethings-free’ zone. "
Andrew L. Urban

"It's derivative perhaps, predictable, certainly, but through it all, this very modern reworking of the 1961 Parent Trap is an unexpected charmer of a film that has enough to entice both adults and their children. What is particularly special about Parent Trap, is that it is a family film that doesn't condescend in any way. With its sharp script, the film takes time to develop the various complex relationships. Now some may see that as a negative; its two-hour length being too much for young children. But perhaps, like their adult counterparts, children need to be educated in the art of detailed storytelling, and on that level, this Parent Trap works beautifully. The film's strong script is enhanced by some sublime performances, not the least of which comes from the miraculous new child discovery, Lindsay Lohan. This spunky youngster handles the tough job of playing both the bratish American and the initially snobbish Brit with equal doses of delightful aplomb. She's extraordinary, and the filmmakers make us believe that different young performers play the two characters. The adults fare just as admirably, from the underused Dennis Quaid, delivering a funny, touching performance as the dad, to the beautiful Natasha Richardson, glowing as the successful mum. There's admirably strong support from the likes of scene-stealing Simon Kuntz as the butler, Elaine Hendrix as the shallow would-be fiance, and Lisa Ann Walter as Hallie's nanny."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

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PARENT TRAP, THE (G)
(US)

CAST: Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Lindsay Lohan, Elaine Hendrix, Lisa Ann, Walter, Simon Kunz, Polly Holliday, Maggie Wheeler, Ronnie Stevens, Joanna Barnes

DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers

PRODUCER: Charles Shyer

SCRIPT: Erich Kästner (from the book Das Doppelte Lottchen), David Swift, Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Cundey

EDITOR: Stephen A. Rotter

MUSIC: Alan Silvestri

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dean Tavoularis

RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: September 17, 1998







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