I have never done anything like this before. But I want to share it because it was such an interesting experience. Since the beginning of the Deja Reviewer in 2011, I’ve almost always published a new article on Tuesdays. The reason I do that is to give myself leeway in preparing images and formatting articles over the weekend.
If something ever goes catastrophically wrong, I prefer to have a couple of days to fix it, hence why I don’t publish on Mondays, right after the weekend. Late at night last weekend, something went catastrophically wrong.
I tried to access the Word doc for my Parent Trap article, and it was nowhere to be found. I put a lot of files on an external hard drive, and I knew it had been on there. However, it had mysteriously disappeared.
When something bad and unplanned happens, I tend to panic. That is one of my many faults I’ve learned to recognize over the years. So I did my best to focus on remaining calm as I solved the problem. I knew that getting angry or endlessly searching for the missing file wouldn’t do any good. Instead, I opened a blank Word doc and started rewriting the article from scratch.
I didn’t have any notes left over or anything to go off of except my memory. I said a silent prayer thanking God for giving me an opportunity to learn patience and humility. And then I got to work. The original article had taken me a couple of hours to write. But the rewrite I hastily put together took me less than 30 minutes.
I considered it miraculous. It was nearly as good as the original, and it even had a nice addition or two I hadn’t thought of before. Still, I was sad that the original version would never be seen by anyone outside of my home. I had worked hard on it, and I thought it was quite brilliantly written. All that the rewrite could be was an imitation. After I was done, I went to bed feeling a mix of accomplishment and disappointment.
And then a second miracle happened.
Back from the Dead
The next morning, I checked my external hard drive and found the lost Parent Trap Word doc right where I had saved it earlier that week! It absolutely had not been there the previous night. But suddenly there it was. Like Lazarus being raised from death to life, my file was back. I was absolutely astonished. I opened it and found it to be exactly how I had left it.
This warranted another prayer of thanksgiving – one much happier in tone. I felt a small touch of what Abraham must have felt when an angel told him not to lay a hand on his son Isaac after being commanded to sacrifice him on an altar. I had been forced to put an article I loved on the altar and consider it to be dead. But just a few hours later, I received the joy of having what was once dead returned to me whole and perfect.
Such a rollercoaster of emotions deserves to be catalogued and remembered. That’s why I felt the need to write this article.
The Hasty Rewrite
If you are curious, the version I published last week was the original version of the article. I now present the hastily rewritten version. Bear in mind that all of what follows was written incredibly fast and without the aid of reviewing my earlier article, not even its title (which is why it’s slightly different than how it ended up).
It’s amazing to me how closely the rewrite resembles what I first created, especially since I didn’t have anything to guide me except an unseen power. I hope you like it. I’m particularly proud of the ending. Honestly, I think it’s an improvement on the original ending, which I already really liked.
Something Wonderful I Never Noticed Before in The Parent Trap (1998)
We are going to talk about one my favorite movies today. When I find a movie I love, I tend to become obsessed with it and watch it over and over again. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Because it prevents me from watching other perfectly worthy movies. At the same time, though, it enables me to notice obscure little details in the films I love.
For example, The Parent Trap (1998). Now this is a remake done right. I love singing its praises. I thought I had already said everything I could possibly have to say about this film, but then I watched it a few dozen times and found something that had completely slipped my notice. And it makes the movie so much better now that I see it.
The Most Important Word in The Parent Trap
I love the journey that Nick Parker and Elizabeth James go through over the course of The Parent Trap. They fall in love aboard a cruise ship, get married, have twin daughters, get divorced, and each take one daughter with them until the two girls meet at a summer camp and plot to get their parents back together. That’s the basic plot of the movie. But the thing I love most about all of this is the way in which it tells its story.
And it begins with a single word.
We find out what that word is when Nick drives his daughter Annie (who he doesn’t realize switched places with his daughter Hallie) home from the airport after camp. They have a lovely conversation in which they keep referencing the word “Dad” to the point that you might think that that is the most important word in the movie. But it’s not.
To find the word, think back to the start of their conversation in the car. Nick sarcastically notes that he’s really glad he bought his daughter special stationery so she could write him letters at camp. Realizing the oversight, Annie begins to respond, “We meant to write, Dad, but we just…” However, Nick is quick to realize she’s responding in the plural, so he asks, “‘We?’” She mysteriously says that she got really close to a girl at camp, and they became practically like sisters.
Nick’s Second Encounter with the Word
Once everything is revealed and Hallie and Annie manage to maneuver their parents into a romantic dinner aboard a luxury yacht, Nick Parker gets to experience his second encounter with the word. He and Elizabeth James are trying to figure out what to do now that their daughters know the truth. There doesn’t seem to be a good option because they can’t keep them together, nor can they keep them apart.
“That’s why we came up with the solution that we have,” Nick says. Elizabeth delivers a major gut punch when she responds, “Really? I thought it was because we decided never to see each other again.” This time, Nick gets to be the one using the word we when he notes, “Not ‘we,’ Liz.” That implies that he wasn’t the one to break off their relationship. His heart (and his head) ached when she threw angry words (and a hairdryer) at him and left for England with Annie as a baby. But her heart ached, too, when he didn’t come after her.
The Final Use of the Word
At the end of the film, Elizabeth is too proud to admit she’s still in love with Nick. So she takes Annie with her back to England and bids a somber farewell to Nick and Hallie. But when they arrive at their home, Elizabeth is shocked to discover Hallie waiting for her in Grandfather’s study. After Hallie explains that she took the Concorde to arrive ahead of those two, she says, “It took us around 30 seconds after you guys left for us to realize we didn’t want to lose you two again.”
Now it’s Elizabeth’s turn to notice that her daughter Hallie referred to more than just herself in that statement. “‘We?’” Elizabeth asks in wonder. And then, like a knight in shining armor, Nick appears from out of nowhere and confirms everything implied in that statement when he simply says, “We.” Of course, he has additional words to share with Elizabeth to profess his love, but that first word is his most powerful. More than any expression of “I love you,” his simple one-word statement brings everything full circle and eloquently tells Elizabeth that he is still in love with her.
In The Parent Trap, the word “we” means three very different things. First, it shows Annie and Hallie’s sisterly love. Then it describes Nick and Elizabeth’s marital breakup. And finally, it expresses Nick and Hallie’s undying love for Elizabeth and Annie. It is the most important word in the movie because it captures the change in the characters.
That’s why, as Nick passionately kisses Elizabeth (and all their past problems are forgiven), Hallie excitedly declares, “We actually did it!”
One More Note
As one final note, the word “we” has an even deeper meaning. Because does Nick know that both Elizabeth and his daughter Annie speak French? Yes, to all of the above. Or, in other words, oui.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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Want to Support the Deja Reviewer?
If you’d like to support the Deja Reviewer, please consider donating a few dollars to keep this site going strong. I’ll even send you an original joke if you do! Try it, and prepare to enjoy a good chuckle.