As a child, I remember watching the movie The Parent Trap. You know, the newer version with Lindsay Lohan before she grew up and went psycho. I adored this movie. I wanted to experience all the spots the movie takes place in–summer camp, Napa Valley, San Francisco, and London. My best friend and I used to reenact scenes. We’d do Annie and Hallie’s secret handshake and dream about pulling pranks at summer camp. More than anything else, we’d fight over who got to be Hallie. Nobody wanted to play Annie. Apparently, being British wasn’t cool when you’re under the age of ten. Oh, how little we knew.
I remember the scene where Martin, the butler, comes into a room in a Speedo. That was my first exposure to swimwear that looks like underwear. Because of this scene, my brothers and I referred to everyone wearing a Speedo as Martin. And, being oh so mature, we thought it was hilarious.
Don’t forget the scene where Meredith clicks sticks together to keep mountain lions away… oh man, we used to have fun with that one. When on camping trips, we would scrounge in the woods and wander around the campground clacking them together. When asked what we were doing, we solemnly replied, “We’re chasing away mountain lions.”
At the end of the movie, there’s a scene when the Dad (Dennis Quaid) talks about his cooking. I remember the mom was pleasantly surprised until he said something along the lines of, “I can make really great pasta.” Then she didn’t look so enthusiastic. I never got that. “Wow,” I remember thinking. “You can make pasta. That’s really something.” To a kid under the age of ten, making pasta seemed like one of the most impressive things in the world.
I’m a college student now. I’ve been to all the places in the movie. I’ve explored San Francisco and driven through the Napa Valley. I spend my summers working at a camp. I lived in London. All the joys of playing Annie and Hallie with my best friend have been lived out. I’m mature enough to no longer refer to Speedo-clad men as Martin. And keeping away mountain lions? Please. That’s so third grade.
But, for the most part, growing up hasn’t changed my affection for The Parent Trap. Looking back on all the childhood silliness makes me smile. Well, on all accounts but one… As for Dennis Quaid’s cooking… well… I now understand the mom was cynical. College life has taught me the ease of pasta. But part of me definitely still wishes that the key to spaghetti was the most impressive thing in the world.