The Parent Trap — I’m talking the 1998 one with Lindsay Lohan, although I’ve seen the original 1961 film and love it as well — was one of the quintessential movies to watch growing up as a kid in the ’90s. For starters Lohan was one of Disney’s “It girls” at the time and she nailed it in this role playing both Annie James and Hallie Parker. But that’s not the only reason why it was so great, there were SO many amazing characters and cool locations.
Who didn’t want to try Chessy’s (yes, it’s Chessy not Jessie!) famous food concoctions, chili anyone? Or what about the desire to ride horses in Napa Valley, California? Maybe you wanted to jet-set away to London, England and drive around in a fabulous black taxi? If you were a ’90s kid these were all things you wanted in life and sadly they were most likely not going to happen to you.
While the movie, which revolved around two sisters separated at birth who find out they’re twins at camp and then to switch places on their parents, is a classic, but it’s not without its flaws. The biggest issue I had was why no one at camp ever guessed they were twins!
When they first arrived at camp, Annie (from London) and Hallie (from California) didn’t cross paths. Annie arrived in a nice limo with her butler, Martin, who was hands down one of the best characters, while Hallie was already trying to get her giant yellow duffle bag out of the stack. I get that they didn’t notice each other right away, but eventually they did cross paths and no one really noticed? I don’t think so!
Sure, they threw Marva Kulp, Sr. off when they stood on either side of her at the buffet and both said they were allergic to strawberries, but that’s pretty much the only time the leaders of the camp even did a minor double take.
Annie did beat Hallie at fencing and Marva Kulp, Jr. said “woah,” after confusing their names, but she didn’t say, “you guys look so similar, are you sure you’re not related?” That would’ve been the logical response from anyone, especially an adult!
The girls’ friends at camp were loyal to a fault and yet they didn’t question once that their new BFF looked exactly like her enemy at camp? Yes, they were 11 year olds, so they weren’t at their highest level of education by any means, but it was SO obvious that they looked alike. A normal person would have at least asked about it, even though the answer would’ve been, “no we’re not related, I’m an only child,” because that was the story each one was told their entire life.
I know it is a small thing, but it’s shocking that no one flat out said anything to either girl. Even when they were sent to the isolation cabin (which their parents never learned about?), they were standing side by side and still nothing. It was radio silence out there. What? That makes zero sense.
Since these questions were never asked, I am asking them now. This is what could’ve been said: “Hallie, did you see that Annie girl from London, she looks just like you. Isn’t that crazy? You could almost be twins!”
Or “Annie, remember that time you beat Hallie at fencing or lost to her at poker? I couldn’t help but notice that you are both redheads, have the same facial features and look ridiculously similar. If I didn’t know better I’d say you two were twins. I mean she’s your evil twin obviously!”
See, that wasn’t very hard! All you Parent Trap fans out there, let me know what you think about the camp members’ inability to ask the tough questions below, and whether or not it changes how you view the movie. Is there anything else that you still don’t understand about the Disney classic?