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In With the New Blogathon

Wendell of Dell on Movies is hosting a blogathon! As the title suggests, we are to explain why a remake is better than the original. I had a hard time choosing on what movies to write on: either I’ve seen only the remake/original and haven’t bothered watching the original/remake, or I prefer the original movie. So for this blogathon, I decided to go with The Parent Trap (1998), and how it was a better movie than The Parent Trap (1961).  Note: my defense has spoilers, just in case you haven't seen any of the movies.

I think we’re all familiar with the plot, but for coherence’s sake, here it goes: two girls who look alike meet in camp and immediately do not get along. They eventually discover that they’re sisters and planned a switch in order for them to spend some time with the other parent as well as try to get them back together. Unfortunately, when one of the twins (Sharon - 1961, Annie - 1998) arrive at their father’s place, she is informed that he is to remarry a beautiful, young, but vile woman that the twins detest. 

There wasn't much difference between the original and the remake, in fact there were parts that have been lifted out from the original and incorporated in the remake. Even the remake provides homage to the original movie, with Joanna Barnes playing the mother of Meredith (the other woman) and with Lohan casually singing parts of the song that Hayley Mills performs in the original. However, I still maintain my stand that the 1998 version was better. 

I grew up with the 1998 version, so I have to admit that nostalgia plays a part in my preference. As I've mentioned, there really wasn't much difference between the two movies, so it just lays in the manner of delivery. In the context of seeing both movies as they are, the original version has more strengths. It doesn't deem itself to be idiotic, as the head camp administrator mentions that they could be sisters, something not addressed in the remake. It also touches more into the everyday lives of the adult characters, instead of just motioning what they do for a living. While the 1961 version took the detailed route, it was also the movie's weakness, having a longer running time for a family movie. 

The remake, on the other hand, boasts a shorter run time without having to sacrifice the content and charm that made the original work. Even some of the tricks were directly lifted from the original. It had a reasonable pace that showed character backgrounds as well as development as the movie progressed. Details were still present, but instead of devoting minute scenes to it, content was placed in the background as to give the audience the information without devoting minutes for it. 

Hayley Mills played Susan and Sharon well, spawning a Parent Trap trilogy, but it doesn't defeat the charisma that Lindsay Lohan's portrayal had brought. Lohan was delightful, charming, and vibrant, being able to transform from one twin to another with distinction. She had more childlike expressions, and had a more convincing transition to teen hood. 

As much as Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith had great onscreen banter, it was hard to believe that his feelings for her could have easily shifted when his character was immediately adamant of her presence in his house. The same goes for her; there were scenes that I felt like she was humoring her children. Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid, on the other hand seem to be more romantically involved, with their story ending happily to be more believable for me. It might be the hopeless romantic in me talking, but the progression of their relationship looked more natural, even when forced in a confined space. 

The original movie had one redeeming factor that could not be contended. Vicky is a fantastic character, and I love how she was used in the movie. Joanna Barnes could have easily stolen the entire movie, she deserves a spin-off. 

The difference between the two movies was just in the manner of delivery, and while the 1961 version was also a delight, it was the remake that won me over. The content wasn't compromised, Lohan's performance was charming, and the parents were adorable. 

Comments

  1. Glad you did this movie. My daughters love the remake and would agree with you wholeheartedly. Actually, I would, too. The shorter run time and brisker pace you mentioned would be my reasoning also. Great post. Thanks for participating!

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    1. I was surprised with the original's running time because that was way too long for the kind of movie it was. The movie was detailed, and it even comes with a song number from Hayley Mills but ultimately the movie could have been trimmed down.

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  2. Yes, yes, yes, YES! This remake is just so much more charming and delightful and fun and memorable.

    Lohan is also astonishingly good here, making both characters feel unique and realistic and she handles that accent like a pro.

    What happened to her?!?!?!?!

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    1. Lohan's portrayal of the character makes the remake memorable, this was one of my favorite roles of hers. I expected her to have a flourishing career because she was charismatic, but after Mean Girls everything just went downhill.

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  3. Excellent choice! The remake is so much better than the original. It's a shame to see where Lindsay Lohan ended up. She had a lot of talent.

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    1. She did have a lot of talent; it wouldn't be difficult for her to transition to much better, meatier roles.

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  4. Great choice! I watched the original when I was a kid, much longer ago than I want to admit, and based on your recommendation I am interested in the remake. I wonder if my 11 y/o would want to watch it with me.

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    1. The remake is very charming, I hope you like it!

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  5. I grew up with the 1998 version as well and enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately I still haven't had the chance to see the original version.

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    1. I hope you do get to see it! While I prefer the remake, the original does have its strengths that makes it appealing to watch.

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