Starring: Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith
Director: David Swift
Running Time: 129 mins
The Parent Trap is an American film about two identical twins, separated since they were babies, who meet each other for the first time and bond through their common desire to get their divorced parents back together, so they switch places to do the convincing.
This is a pretty happy, silly film. It’s not particularly funny, although that is in part due to it being a bit dated, however that’s also due to it’s overly safe, family-friendly vibe. The story is predictable from the off, and seeing Hayley Mills play two different roles, whilst impressive, becomes a little boring after a while.
Let’s start on the positive side of things, however, initially with Mills’ performance. Surprisingly, as a child character in a Disney film, she’s not that annoying, and her characters are by far the most interesting and likeable in the entire film. What also deserves praise is the excellent trick photography and special effects that make Mills’ double presence on screen wholly believable.
Another plus of this film is that it is very light and easy-going. Made by Disney, it’s got that family-friendly feel to it all, and when the comedy is going well at points, that is quite a bit of silly fun to watch, so this is definitely a watchable film for a sick day or something.
However, it’s still far too weak. The comedy is never hilariously funny, the concept wears thin pretty quickly, and with the incredibly slow pacing and overlong running time, it can become quite a dull film to watch at points.
If the film weren’t so family-oriented, and had a little bit more excitement with regards to the parents’ relationship, there would have been a lot more opportunities for big laughs, however everything turns out far too safe and ultimately predictable, leaving this as nothing more than an easy, but not entertaining watch, and that’s why it gets a 6.5 from me.