The Parent Trap II (1986) starring Hayley Mills, Tom Skerritt, Carrie Kei Heim, Bridgette Andersen, Alex Harvey directed by Ronald F. Maxwell Movie Review

The Parent Trap II (1986)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Hayley Mills as Sharon in The Parent Trap II (1986)

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How much did you like the original 1960s version of "The Parent Trap"? Did you love it to the point that you watched it till you knew every line or did you just enjoy it as a fun children's movie? It's an important question because it seems that those who loved the original have very low opinions of the made for TV sequel "The Parent Trap II" where as those who just enjoyed the 1960s original are more accepting. I am in that second group because whilst "The Parent Trap II" lacked a lot of the quality of the original 60s movie it was still innocent fun, typically 80s in style and to be honest if it had had a bit more money lavished on it would have been okay as a big screen movie with some of the corniness lost in the transition.

With Sharon Ferris (Hayley Mills) getting ready to move to New York to start a new job her daughter Nikki (Carrie Kei Heim) is less than happy as she doesn't want to move especially after making a new friend in Mary Grand (Bridgette Andersen). Deciding that their best chance of staying friends is to set up the single Sharon with Mary's single father Bill (Tom Skerritt) they find it much harder and they realised. So Nikki calls Aunt Susan (Hayley Mills) and persuades her to come and help by pretending to be Sharon and go on a couple of dates with Bill to get him interest. Of course nothing goes as plans especially when Sharon discovers that her twin Susan is in town pretending to be her.

Carrie Kei Heim and Bridgette Andersen in The Parent Trap II (1986)

The biggest problem that "The Parent Trap II" has is that simply it is a made for TV movie, done relatively quickly and cheaply so through out it lacks the quality which the original movie had. What that means is that whilst we have this amusing storyline which mirrors the original movie as we have two friends setting up their single parents but it lacks the little touches and scenes to make it flow in a more entertaining manner. It also means that there is a plethora of corny scenes with some terrible dialogue which with a bit more time could have been turned into some clever moments rather than groan moments. And there is the acting which often has that hesitancy as the actors pause to think of their lines.

But for all that is wrong with "The Parent Trap II" it still is an entertaining movie which would amuse 80s children who had just watched the original "The Parent Trap" for the first time. And that is the thing which I think people forget because with 25 years between movies this sequel was not made for those who watched "The Parent Trap" as a child in the 60s despite featuring Hayley Mills as Susan and Sharon again. Nope this was a sequel made for the children who in the 80s had been introduced to the fun of the original by their parents and as such it works.

And that is about it as other than to say that unfortunately the fun chemistry which Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith had in the original is totally missing which was part of the reason why it worked. And unfortunately with this being a made for TV movie the characters are seriously underwritten especially when it comes to Mary's father Bill which leaves Tom Skerritt with a non-descript character.

What this all boils down to is that "The Parent Trap II" is not a bad movie when you remember that it was an 80s made for TV sequel which aimed to entertain the children of those who grew up on the original. But if you are one of those people who adored the fun 1960s version this sequel is probably going to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.