Movie Review: The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap Trailer

The Parent Trap Summary

In 1986, American winery owner Nicholas Parker and British wedding gown designer Elizabeth James get married over the course of a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth 2. Shortly after the birth of their identical twin daughters, Annie and Hallie, they get divorced and each has sole custody of one girl; Nick raises Hallie in Napa Valley, California and Elizabeth raises Annie in London, England.

11 years and 9 months later, in the summer of 1998, Nick and Elizabeth coincidentally send their daughters to the same summer camp in Maine, where they meet and take an immediate dislike to one another. They begin to pull a series of pranks on each other. After one prank goes too far, the two girls are isolated together for the remainder of camp as punishment. During a heart-to-heart, they discover they are twin sisters. Desperate to meet the parent they never knew, they make a plan: switching places to reunite their family, with hopes of getting their parents back together. Hallie imitates Annie’s British accent and flies to London to meet their mother, maternal grandfather Charles, and the James’ butler Martin. Meanwhile, Annie imitates Hallie’s American accent and flies to Napa Valley to meet their father, Hallie’s nanny Chessy, and the Parker’s’ dog Sammy.

Annie learns that Nick has a new, young girlfriend, Meredith, a child-hating gold digger, to whom he intends to propose. Hallie sneaks out to call her sister from a phone booth but is discovered by Charles, who persuades her to reveal her identity to Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Chessy grows suspicious of “Hallie’s” odd behaviour, and “Hallie” confesses she is really Annie, but Chessy keeps her secret.

Hallie tells Elizabeth that Nick wants to meet her in San Francisco in order to switch the girls back. The two of them, along with Martin, travel to do so, with Elizabeth nervous to meet Nick again. On the same weekend, Annie, Nick, and Meredith travel to the same hotel to discuss wedding plans. Nick sees Elizabeth for the first time in years, and they learn they have been tricked by their daughters into meeting again, as well as Nick discovering that he’s had Annie in his care since the end of camp. Chessy and Martin meet and grow romantically attracted to each other.

Hallie and Annie recreate the night that their parents met by renting out a yacht for an evening. The two parents discuss the terms of their initial breakup: their tempers got the better of them, Elizabeth walked out, and Nick made no effort to go after her. They opt to have the twins spend holidays together, but do not resume their relationship. 

The twins resort to a last-ditch effort by demanding a three-day family camping trip, refusing to reveal which twin is which until after they return. Elizabeth tricks Meredith into taking her place on the camping trip at the last minute, much to the girls’ dismay. Over the course of the trip, Hallie and Annie play a number of harmless tricks on Meredith, who becomes enraged and demands Nick chooses between her and them. Nick realizes Meredith’s true colors toward his children and chooses the twins over her while breaking off the engagement and wedding. Meredith throws her ring at him in fury.

Back in Napa Valley, Nick shows Elizabeth his wine collection, including the bottle from their wedding. They realize they still have feelings for one another, but decide that it is better to go their separate ways. Elizabeth and Annie later board a flight for London. When they arrive home, they find Nick and Hallie waiting for them (having taken a faster flight on Concorde). Nick expresses his previous mistake of not going after Elizabeth when she left him the first time. Afterwards, they kiss, with Hallie and Annie looking on, exclaiming, “we actually did it.”

Photos during the credits show Nick and Elizabeth getting remarried aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, with Annie and Hallie as bridesmaids, and Martin proposing to Chessy.

The Parent Trap Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

While this was a remake, it was really well done. There were issues within it by the parents but I feel like that is best suited for a video to explain. It is an unforgettable movie though.

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