I miss watching The Parent Trap. My all time favorite movie when I was a kid. And oh, I love Lindsay Lohan and Ms. Natasha Richardson.
The Parent Trap (1998) is a remake of the 1961 family film of the same name. It was directed and co-written by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It stars Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as a couple who divorce soon after marrying, and Lindsay Lohan in a dual role as their twin daughters, who are accidentally reunited after being separated at birth. Both films are based on Erich Kästner’s novel Lottie and Lisa (Das Doppelte Lottchen). The novel and the 1936 Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls are the basis of the screenplay written by David Swift for the 1961 and 1998 film, only the novel is credited however. Meyers and Shyer are credited as co-writers of the 1998 version along with Swift.
Nick Parker (Quaid) and Elizabeth James (Richardson) met and married each other during an ocean cruise on the QE2. Elizabeth gave birth to twin daughters Hallie and Annie (both played by Lohan), but the couple divorced and lost contact with each other, each parent raising one of the twins without telling her about her sister. Nick raised Hallie in the Napa Valley and became a wealthy wine grower, while Elizabeth raised Annie in London and became a famous wedding gown designer.
After the ocean cruise and onboard wedding ceremony, the story jumps ahead to a summer in which Nick and Elizabeth coincidentally enroll their daughters in the same summer camp in Maine. Annie and Hallie, who are now eleven years old, first meet at the end of a fencing match, when they remove their masks and see that they look alike. A comical hostility between the two girls leads to a prank war that ends when the camp counselors fall into one of Hallie’s traps and isolate the twins from the other girls.
Living together, Hallie and Annie discover that they were born on the same day and they each have half of a torn wedding photograph of their parents. Realizing with delight that they are twins, the girls hatch a plan to meet their previously unknown parents: Each girl will train her twin to impersonate her, and they will switch places at the end of the summer.
When camp is over, the plan succeeds: Hallie goes to London, where she meets her mother, her grandfather, and the James family’s butler Martin (Kunz). Annie goes to California, where she meets her father, the Parker family’s housekeeper Chessy (Walter), their dog Sammy, and Nick’s young, opportunistic fiancée Meredith (Hendrix), who is only interested in Nick’s money. Distressed by Meredith’s deviousness, Annie telephones Hallie and persuades her to bring Elizabeth to California to break up the engagement. Soon the girls’ identities are discovered, and, except for Nick and Meredith, who remain unaware of the switch, their newfound family members tearfully welcome them.
In order to bring Nick and Elizabeth together, Annie, Hallie, Grandpa, Chessy, and Martin conspire to have them meet at a hotel in San Francisco by arranging for Nick to meet Meredith’s parents and by not telling Elizabeth about Meredith. Nervous about meeting Nick, Elizabeth asks Martin to accompany her and Hallie. After a few comical mixups in the hotel, Nick and Elizabeth see each other, Nick finally learns about the switch, and the twins host a candlelit dinner for Nick and Elizabeth, served by Martin and Chessy, on a yacht decorated to recreate their first meeting. At dinner, Elizabeth mentions that Nick did not follow her after she left him, and Nick responds that he was not sure if Elizabeth would want him to. They make plans for the twins to spend holidays together, but decide against resuming their relationship.
Hallie and Annie dislike this idea, so they force their parents to take them camping by refusing to reveal which twin is which. After Elizabeth persuades Nick and the girls to take Meredith instead of herself, the twins play tricks on Meredith, who becomes enraged and insists that Nick choose between her and his daughters. Nick chooses the twins, and Meredith breaks off the engagement.
After Meredith leaves, Nick shows Elizabeth his wine collection, which includes the wine they drank at their wedding. Elizabeth is touched by this gesture at first, but has a change of heart and returns to London with Annie. However, when Elizabeth and Annie get home, they find Hallie and Nick waiting for them, having flown there on the Concorde. Elizabeth is fearful of remarrying, but she yields to Nick’s confidence, and Annie and Hallie look on happily as Nick and Elizabeth embrace. The final credits feature photographs of Nick and Elizabeth’s second wedding, also aboard the QE2, with the twins as bridesmaids, and Martin presenting Chessy with an engagement ring.