Whether you’re watching the 1961 original starring Hayley Mills or the 1998 remake starring Lindsay Lohan, The Parent Trap is a classic story of a twin switcheroo, all in the name of romance. In both movies, twin girls separated at birth reunite at summer camp to discover the sister they never knew they had. They come up with a plan to reunite their divorced parents, but they have to switch places to do so. The switch will also give them a chance to get to know the parent they haven’t spent any time with. Beautiful, ya know? One of the most fun parts about The Parent Trap is the switch itself, which got us thinking about other movies where characters switch places. Along with those films, there are plenty of other movies like The Parent Trap that feature families — both fractured and whole — and children getting up to no good.
As Roger Ebert wrote in his review of the 1998 version of The Parent Trap, the “story is ageless and so is the gimmick.” The ploy of characters changing place, he pointed out, is “the stuff of Elizabethan comedy, resurrected in modern times.” Whether it’s the switch that pulled you into the film or the family shenanigans, you’ll find even more of it in the list below.
Movies Like The Parent Trap
1. It Takes Two (1995)
It Takes Two is almost a carbon copy of the story in The Parent Trap. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play Amanda and Alyssa, who discover at summer camp that they’re twins. Each wants to save their guardian from going down the wrong path, and they also want to save themselves. Alyssa’s dad is about to marry the wrong woman, and Amanda’s social worker may be out of her life for good if Amanda gets adopted by a terrible family. Of course, they must switch places to get everything lined up how they want it!
2. Corrina, Corrina (1994)
Whoopi Goldberg plays Corrina, a nanny hired to care for a young girl named Molly (Tina Majorino). In this heartwarming story, Corrina and Molly bond, becoming as close as a mother and daughter, something Molly needs after her own mother passed away. But Corrina also forms a connection with Molly’s dad, Manny (Ray Liotta), which Molly clues into. For a father and daughter who had a fractured life after losing the most important woman, Corrina might just be the glue that pulls them back together.
3. 17 Again (2009)
Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) gets a second chance at being a teenager after complaining about the trajectory of his life, and he becomes 17 again. Well, Zac Efron plays the 17-year-old counterpart who gets to live out what the original Mike didn’t get to, but upon going back to his teen years — albeit in the present — Mike realizes that maybe the life he hated isn’t so bad after all. Add in a quirky best friend in Ned Gold (Thomas Lennon), and you have the perfectly charming movie.
4. The Game Plan (2007)
In this story about a father and child, Joe Kingman (Dwayne Johnson), football star, learns he has a young daughter he never knew about. Suddenly he has to be a father to Peyton (Madison Pettis) on top of dealing with his busy work life. As with most movies Johnson stars in, there’s humor throughout as he tries to navigate this new life he’s found himself in, showing how difficult the parent/child dynamic can be at times.
5. She’s the Man (2006)
In a bit of tomfoolery, Amanda Bynes plays dual roles of Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian, in this hilarious movie based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Viola dresses up as Sebastian and takes his place at school, bonding with classmates in brand new ways. Plus, Viola low-key falls in love with Duke (Channing Tatum), which has the soccer star incredibly confused about his sexuality.
6. Are We There Yet? (2005)
The whole family is involved in this funny movie. Nick Persons (Ice Cube) is a bachelor who absolutely doesn’t like kids. Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long) has two kids: Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden). And these aren’t just any kids; these are meddling kids who want their mom to get back together with her dad. Unfortunately for them, Nick and Suzanne meet and hit it off … except for the fact that Nick is not down for dealing with kids. Lindsey and Kevin aren’t fans of his either, so who’s going to win in this battle of wills?
7. Matilda (1996)
Matilda is an incredibly gifted and exceptional little girl born into a very mean and unkind family. No one really understands her except for Ms. Honey, her favorite school teacher. Using her psychic powers and genius, Matilda finds a way to defeat Ms. Trunchbull, the evil headmistress. Eventually, Matilda finds exactly where she belongs.
Other Fun and Sentimental Films
- The Perfect Man (2005)
- Blended (2014)
- Monte Carlo (2011)
- The Princess Switch (2018)
- The Little Rascals (1994)
- Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)
- Life-Size (2000)
- Curly Sue (1991)
- Freaky Friday (2003)
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
- Maid In Manhattan (2002)
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
- Father of the Bride (1991)
- Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)
- Ramona and Beezus (2010)
- Overboard (1987)
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