Time: 129 Minutes
Genre: Family Comedy
AWARDS: Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
This has to be one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. I saw it when I was a kid and just fell in love with Hayley Mills. I thought she was so clever and the movie made me wish I was a twin. Though Mills went on to make several other films for the "Mouse House", I think PARENT TRAP is the best one. It's the story of twin girls separated as babies by the divorce of their parents who accidently discover each other's existence at summer camp. Yeah, what are the odds... Initially, they don't think they are related and hate one another, but it soon becomes clear that they were duped and are resentful of the time they were sepatated.
Since their parents felt the need to keep the fact of their twinhood from them, they secretly switch places in an effort to get to know the parent they've never met. The scamps. Once in place, they begin a rather devious campaign to break up their father's new relationship and bring their family back together. It's a total fantasy, delivering an ending every child of a broken home dreams would happen to them. The fact that the girlfriend is a total money-hungry bitch only helps facilitate the inevitible conclusion. Plus, who could resist Maureen O'Hara, I mean come on...
Despite being a film for the family audience it's quite fun and clever, even throwing in a few sexy moments between O'Hara and Keith for any adults who might be watching. Mills is wonderful as Sharon AND Susan, giving each twin different speaking patterns and mannerisms. It's not rocket science, but she makes the double duty relatively seamless, which can't have been easy to film in the 60s. There's just something about her enthusiasm and charisma that lights up the screen and sells this fairly trite tale. Keith and O'Hara make the best of their roles, giving their characters more depth and chemistry than one would expect from such a light and frothy comedy. Skip the remake and watch the original. It's fun for the whole family.