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I'm watching The Parent Trap (Lohan version). It's a guilty… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
I'm watching The Parent Trap (Lohan version). It's a guilty pleasure. Completely hokey and unlikely, but amusing nonetheless. When I saw the Haley Mills version as a kid, I thought it was great--I'd conveniently never met my father, so it was very easy to pretend I had a secret twin out there. :p
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Comments
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: March 12th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha, I re-watched the fencing part when I flipped past, too. La Lohan makes me crazy--so cute, and so troubled these days. Eat something, child!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I know. I have a fondness for her because of this movie, and she's just so... skinny now. It's not healthy.

And she let someone talk her into bleaching her beautiful hair. I know it's not as big a deal, but it's all part of the same weird, self-defeating thing.
From: bklyngrl77 Date: March 12th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's dark again now. For a month or two she looked 1) healthy (almost) and 2) brunette. Now she's scrawny and very dark haired. It's an improvement over the cracked-out look....
From the improved period: http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/go_fug_yourself/2005/12/freaky_fug_frid.html
lannamichaels From: lannamichaels Date: March 12th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you. It's a great guilty pleasure, though I wish they could have found a way to stick in the "the nerve of her, coming here with your face" line in the remake because it was my favourite one in the original. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that was a good one. Though I was grateful that they skipped the song and dance number, except for the little allusion to it when Hallie goes into the elevator.
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: March 12th, 2006 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
This dates me terribly, but I must've seen every Haley Mills flick there was when I was a kid. They've all sort of mooshed together in my brain with the Disney stuff, making a 'Perfect American family' with Fred MacMurray as the dad, Julie Andrews as Mom (or Mary Poppins, take your pick), and Haley as the kid, maybe with Mickey Rooney and Annette Funichello thrown in as siblings. Welcome to my brain, the Rummage Heap of American Iconography. And let's not forget the family horses - Flicka or maybe Rocket, plus Lassie as the doggie. :D

You're an only kid? There were times I would've gladly lent you one of my siblings, but they all turned out well, so I'm glad I kept them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
You're an only kid?
Only kid, single parent. (My father has other kids now, but I've never met them, and they're more than ten years younger than I am anyway.) Very, very small household. ;) The Weasleys are very exotic to me.
lady_sarai From: lady_sarai Date: March 12th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I adore that movie. My mother was scandalized by the idea of a remake and I agreed, because I'd seen the original so many times by the time it came out. It was always her favorite movie. (It might say something that Lindsay Lohan is my younger brother's age...) But we adore this version. It's our mother-daughter movie, so I can't help but love it. It makes me want my Mom. :) Sometimes on the phone, we randomly quote bits. Just because.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I think a lot of people were a little scandalized by the idea, but they did it very well.
kinderjedi From: kinderjedi Date: March 12th, 2006 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the old and the new versions of that movie. I have to say, my favorite line in the new one may be "Call me Vicky." My mom and I saw it in the theater and when Vicky said that we both had a sort of lightning-bolt type realization that it was the same Vicky from the first one. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I know. It was pretty clear what the age groups in the theater were--kids were mystified by why so many adults were laughing.
dreagoddess From: dreagoddess Date: March 12th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoy both the remake and the original, but one thing I miss in the remake is that they don't spend nearly as much time at camp. I really liked those bits in the original.
psychic_serpent From: psychic_serpent Date: March 12th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, both Parent Trap movies irritate the hell out of me because of the very high fantasy level in the plot and the way some truly heinous things are glossed over. I thought it was horrible that two kids were being raised without knowing their twin or non-custodial parent just because the parents had a bad break-up. Please. Years of therapy, table five. But even worse was playing to the fantasies of millions of kids who were growing up without one of their parents who were NOT going to learn about a secret twin or an obscenely rich mother/father and who would probably find out the hard way just what a bad combination their parents really were if they tried to get back together. The fantasy about being responsible for getting mommy and daddy back together (as opposed to the guilt a lot of kids carry who are convinced that they broke up their parents) is one of the worst parts. Kids need need to feel that it's okay for their parents to move on if they decide to do that, not fixate on turning back the clock.

That's why I prefer the Lohan remake of Freaky Friday over both this and the original FF. Many of the sexist elements are gone, the mother is well-respected in her field, and one of the things the daughter hasto come to terms with is that her future stepfather is a nice guy and not the Antichrist just because he isn't her "real" dad.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but speaking as one of those kids who had an impossible fantasy about it, fantasizing is a very pleasant way to spend the time. It's kind of like the old fantasy about discovering you're really a princess if you don't know your father. It's nice. And it gives a feeling of being special instead of being abandoned. Eventually, you grow out of it, but having a fantasy father as a child is at least better than having no father at all. That, I can speak to from personal experience.

(That said, of course it's an idiotic solution, and the parents, if looked at outside the realm of fantasy, are total morons in both versions. I mean, hello? The girls would be furious if this really happened. Of course, they both probably would have asked a lot more questions than either seemed to. But as a fantasy whose main point is that family is important and can survive idiotic decisions made in the past, I'm willing to accept the ridiculous arrangement as a plot device and not analyze it too closely.)
psychic_serpent From: psychic_serpent Date: March 12th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the princess fantasy is perfectly understandable. The standard fairy-tale construct is to learn that your parents aren't really your parents, who are actually much cooler and richer, and preferably of royal stock. I even understand why, at the beginning of a period that saw the first big upswing in divorce in this country, Disney made a film about twins getting their parents back together. It was all about the nuclear family, one mother and one father, etc.

I think the sequal is therefore even more disappointing because they had a chance not to kowtow to the philosophy that two parents should stay together no matter what, which is a really outdated and often dangerous idea. They could have had the parents decide that the big mistake was NOT splitting up as a couple but keeping the kids away from half of their family for all those years.

I think it would have been great if the girls had done everything the same to try to get their parents together--and failed, because they really did have a good reason to split up. Then the mom and the dad could have married perfectly nice "other" people (rather than obnoxious idiots) and the twins could have decided that that was OKAY. It could even have been that through the kids' machinations their parents discovered that they were really in love with people they hadn't thought about romantically before, producing a lovely sort of ironic outcome. (Since they were trying to pair their parents up and they would each have found love, but with other people.) But Disney went the predictable, conservative route instead and behaved as though nothing has changed in thirty years.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm all about nuclear families, and think it's fairly daring in this day and age to suggest that such a thing is a good idea. Not much of a better way to get labelled a fascist, sexist, anti-progress Luddite who needs to be put out on the Common in stocks and pelted with rotton fruit. But yes--of course that's what it does.

It's precisely because it celebrates the family and marriage that I consider it healthy. One of the major problems--probably the major problem--that we have socially today is the rapid disappearance of marriage and the unraveling of the family as an institution. The rate of single-parent households has gone up exponentially even in my lifetime, to a point where it's accepted as a matter of course, and that makes me very, very sad. Me, I'd take being called a bastard and being denied things if it meant that some other little girl would have her father. And the idea that people can keep trading up if they're "unsatisfied" strikes me as more certain to cause unhappiness, because no one will ever be perfect. Yeah, if the person hits or cheats, dump him fast, but in both versions, it was pretty clear that they split up over something ridiculous in the first place, and should have repaired the marriage rather than throwing up their hands and saying, "Oh, woe is me, we've had a fight, we must divorce now and never see one another again."
alkari From: alkari Date: March 12th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, in all fairness to the movies, psychic_serpent, they are no more fantastic or misleading to children than many other 'sitcom' types of movie or TV series which idealise various aspects of family life. I mean, the Brady Bunch indicates you can just wave a magic wand and integrate two families without any upheavals, between the kids or between the parents, or between parent and stepkids. And Sound of Music is totally saccharine when it comes to family life!

I've never seen the remake of Parent Trap. I didn't particularly enjoy the original for various reasons - my favourite Hayley Mills movies have always been "Tiger Bay" and the beautiful "Whistle Down the Wind".
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 12th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah--that's why it's definitely hokey. It's all about fantasies of making families work. And the thing is, without fantasies, you can't create realities. Stories like this carry the idea that it's possible to make a family work (which is probably why they drive divorce advocates batshit, but to me, that's just gravy).

I will say that I'm glad we've advanced enough that no one gives anyone a black eye in the remake.
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