An amiable kid-flick with a potentially troublesome premise -- that clever youngsters can reunite their divorced parents if they try hard enough -- this remake of the Disney favorite (itself a remake of the English TWICE UPON A TIME, based on a German
novel) is a bubbly, girl-power romp. Eleven-year-olds Hallie Parker and Annie James meet at summer camp and hate each other on sight: Identical freckled, red-haired looks aside, the girls at first seem to have nothing in common. Tomboy Hallie lives with her dad (Dennis Quaid), who runs a Northern
California vineyard; slightly stuck-up Annie lives in London with her mom (Natasha Richardson), the kind of swanky wedding-dress designer whose creations are modeled by Vendela. That they're actually twins separated at birth explains their common allergies, tastes (peanut butter and Oreos) and
skills (fencing and poker-playing chief among them), and the girls quickly cook up a plan to bring their perfect-for-each-other parents back together. The complication: A peroxided vixen named Meredith (Elaine Hendrix), who's got her jungle-red claws deep into Dad and wants to hear wedding bells
ringing in two weeks' time. Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, the husband-and-wife team who updated FATHER OF THE BRIDE, perform a similar face-lift on the oringal PARENT TRAP, making the girls younger, the beloved mom more independent (and English), the gold digger an opportunistic career woman (a
publicist, if you please) rather than a spoiled deb, and cooking up a rather unlikely romance between Annie's prissy sissy butler (Simon Kunz) and Hallie's earthy housekeeper (Lisa Ann Walter). The technology for twinning a single young actress is considerably more seamless than it was in
1961, and Lohan is a perky charmer.
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