Hallie Parker and Annie James are twins (both played by Lindsay Lohan), each of whom never knew of the other's existence. After their parents' quick marriage, and even quicker divorce, the two girls parted ways, Hallie living with her dad, Nick (Dennis Quaid), in California, and Annie living with her mother, Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson), in London.
However, a quirk of fate has reunited the girls together at a summer camp. After piecing together their relationship, the two set in motion a plan to reunite their parents. Hallie and Annie will switch places, going home with the wrong parent. When the mistake is realized, Nick and Elizabeth will have to reunite to swap the kids back. And when they do, romance will blossom once again, or so the girls hope.
As the center of The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan holds her own. The twin special effects are done seamlessly, with few "showy" scenes. Lindsay manages to imbue each twin with a such personality and style that it's easy to forget there's only one actress playing both girls.
Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson make a good match as the parents. They are ideal parental figures, and a cute couple together. You root for their reconciliation as much as the twins.
The supporting cast boasts some good comic talent. Both Elizabeth's butler, Martin (Simon Kunz), and Nick's nanny, Chessy (Lisa Ann Walter), are charmingly funny. And Elaine Hendrix is appropriately witchy as Meredith, Elizabeth's rival for Nick's heart.
With a running time over two hours, The Parent Trap is much lengthier than the traditional kids' film. There's enough going on that older kids shouldn't have a problem, but the younger ones may get antsy.
Saccharine yet satisfying, The Parent Trap is entertaining enough for both kids and adults. Even those familiar with the original should find something new to like here.
[PG - some mild mischief] (Disney)
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