To much surprise at the SAG Awards, Lisa Ann Walter brought “The Parent Trap” costar Elaine Hendrix as her date to the red carpet on Feb. 26. This small reunion not only sparked excitement in me as a “Parent Trap” fan but also made me reminisce about the film.
It has been over 25 years since the 1998 film “The Parent Trap” debuted and the movie still holds significance in many lives, including mine. The movie was one of those films that I grew up watching and never got tired of. It had everything from comedy to drama to romance, which made it a movie classic.
In honor of the costar reunion, here are five reasons “The Parent Trap” remains a timeless film:
Although this movie is a remake of the 1961 “Parent Trap,” director Nancy Meyers remarkably created a modernized piece of the original story for a new generation that was both entertaining and relatable. The plot focuses on twins Annie and Hallie (both played by Lindsay Lohan) discovering each other at summer camp and trying to rekindle their divorced parents’ relationship. Few romantic comedies in the 90s focused on a parent love story. So, reintroducing the movie to the younger generation was something the audience had not seen before. It was simply different. To this day, the film still is, which is why the movie resonates with viewers every time they watch it. The story of “The Parent Trap” is such a lasting piece that is perfect for everyone.
The characters in this film are all fantastic. Each cast member was perfect and performed flawlessly, which made the characters come to life. For instance, Lindsay Lohan’s performance was able to capture the individuality of both Annie and Hallie by giving each twin different mannerisms to match their personalities. Annie’s character used formal vocabulary and proper manners, whereas Hallie’s character was more impulsive and childish at times, which made Lohan’s performance even more impressive. Also, the chemistry between Nick (Dennis Quaid) and Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson) was impeccable. Viewers could tell while watching, that both Nick and Elizabeth still loved each other from the moment they saw each other again. I also can’t forget the soon-to-be stepmother Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) and nanny Chessy (Lisa Ann Walter), who each had many iconic moments in the film. One that comes to mind is Meredith ringing Chessy for some martinis and Chessy saying, “You rang.” This is such a classic scene from the film that I still quote it today. Overall, the characters were both funny and charming, which left viewers wanting to watch the film again and again.
The soundtrack in “The Parent Trap” is one of the best. The creators chose songs that both set the emotion of the film and told an unforgettable story. They incorporated songs like “Top of the World” by Shonen Knife and “Do you Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. These tunes transport viewers back to the film scenes whenever they hear those songs. But the way the soundtrack begins and ends is remarkably beautiful. At the start of the film, viewers hear the song “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, which gives the audience a glimpse of Nick and Elizabeth’s wedding. During the scene, viewers hear Cole singing, “Two in love can make it. Take my heart and please don’t break it.” These lyrics established the couple’s relationship. Unfortunately, we discover that Nick and Elizabeth end up getting a divorce later on. As the film ends, the parents rekindle their relationship, and the song “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Cole’s daughter, Natalie, plays in the background. Having Natalie’s voice for the final song was genius because it perfectly concludes the couple’s relationship and ties the first and last song together. Overall, this soundtrack is phenomenal and will have viewers singing along with the music.
When thinking of “The Parent Trap,” the iconic fashion looks immediately come to mind. From Chessy’s denim shirt and khaki chino pants to Meredith’s black sunhat and white keyhole dress, there are several staples of “The Parent Trap” fashion. Alongside these outfits, costume designer Penny Rose did an excellent job incorporating each character’s personality into their wardrobe, which made the film’s fashion even more iconic. For instance, Elizabeth and Annie both have a British chic style where they wear trench coats, dresses and matching sets that represent their proper and elegant personalities. Whereas Hallie, Nick and Chessy wear ranch-style clothing such as denim long sleeves, button-downs and plaid shirts that represent their laid-back personalities. The difference in style makes the movie unique because it highlights both the 90s American and British fashion that could never run out of style.
5. Incorporating Both London and California
Although the twins were across continents from each other, Meyers did a fantastic job capturing their lives in both California and London. For instance, when Hallie went to London as Annie, viewers got to see a glimpse of Annie’s life. From Annie’s home to her mother’s wedding studio to London itself, these scenes perfectly illustrated what Annie’s life was like before she went to summer camp. The depiction of Hallie’s life in California did the same as well. With the scenes of her father’s vineyard, the horseback riding and the wine cellar, viewers could get a genuine impression of her life. This detail was an excellent touch to the film that gave more insight and depth to the characters and was visually stunning as well.
“The Parent Trap” is available to watch on Disney+.