It is unlikely – and to a certain extent embarassing even, given Lindsay Lohan’s recent antics – for anyone to say that The Parent Trap is their all-time favourite movie, and even more unlikely that they could quote you any line in the film to a 83.44% degree of accuracy. But as it turns out, I happen to be one of those unlikely people.
The Parent Trap to me is like Linus’ blankie is to him; although not quite as tangible, Hallie and Annie Parker are always there when I need to watch something comforting, when I feel like quoting lines for a whole 1 and a 1/2 hours, and when I just need some known happy ending (its a Disney movie, they tend to do that).
Natasha Richardson, I never knew you, but I knew Elizabeth James. Wedding dress designer, impeccably British, chic, and smart, with a smile that made Dennis Quaid fall (into a pool) for you. I never thought about the actress behind the character until now – you were always just Elizabeth James, mother of Hallie and Annie. I never wondered what you’d been up to all these years (God knows Lindsay’s taken up enough tabloid space for the whole cast), I don’t think I’ve watched any of your other films. But I also don’t think I’ve ever teared at the passing of an actor in my life – yes, not even Heath Ledger.
So for me, Elizabeth James died yesterday, and though it may seem inconsequential, watching my favourite movie will never be the same again.