Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parenting Skills

Recently, during my packing escapades, I came across my Parent Trap DVDs, both the original with Hayley Mills and the remake with Lindsay Lohan. Both very fun movies that my sister and I used to watch on loop.

Who doesn’t love a story of two tweens who meet at camp only to realize that they’re twins? Of course the only thing to do after such a realization is to hatch a zany plot designed to get their estranged parents back together. And we all laugh at their antics and root for them to succeed. Who wouldn’t want these girls to have the family of their dreams? And don’t those parents deserve a happy ending as well? Clearly they’re good parents, how else would they have raised two such loving daughters?

It was years after I first saw these films that it dawned on me that these were perhaps the worst parents ever. They’re shown to be these wonderful people who care about their daughter more than anything else in the world. That’s right, daughter. Singular. They are clearly not as enamored with the other one or maybe they would have wanted to see her once over the past decade plus.

The whole each taking a kid situation is not joint custody, it’s the makings for a Greek tragedy. Just make one of the twins a boy instead, have the two kids falling in love at camp and before you know it, people are blinding themselves with dress pins.

This is a tale of shoddy parenting by a couple of people who are selfish and immature enough to give George and Lucille Bluth a run for their frozen assets.*

And yet somehow, every time I put these movies on, all I can do is cheer on the happy endings.

It's a conundrum.

* At least those two never hid the existence of any of their children. Sure, they may have hid some adoption papers and engaged in some light treason....but that's totally different. 

1 comment:

  1. A Greek tragedy indeed! Most kids' movies, when you really look at them and break them down, they have some really bad messages.
    The one that really gets me is Grease - showing girls that they have to totally change themselves to get their man. Still love watching it though!