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Parent Trap Comes to Life

by Elisa All

In the 21998 film The Parent Trap, Lindsey Lohan plays twin girls who work together to reunite their divorced parents. My own twin girls, Cassie and Jules, love the movie and the actors in it. So imagine their surprise, and delight, when the film came to life for them right in their own hometown. It happened like this…

Cassie, Jules and I were walking home from school when we noticed a familiar face teeing off on the 17th hole of the local public golf course. Wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a baseball cap, he could have been any tall, dark and handsome suburban dad. But as he turned to put his club away, I caught a full shot of his face and realized he was the actor Dennis Quaid. He gave us a smile and sped off on his golf cart with a breezy “How ya’ doin?”

Once Cassie and Jules realized he was the dad from The Parent Trap, they insisted on making his acquaintance (naturally, their mother had no interest whatsoever). The way the golf course is set up, the 18th hole’s green is adjacent to the 17th hole’s tee, so all we had to do was stay put and wait for him to come back our way. As it turned out, his golf ball landed within 5 feet of where we were standing. Cassie and Jules eagerly pointed out the location of his ball and he drove over to us.

“I didn’t hit you, did I?” he asked the giggling girls.

They laughed, covering their mouths with their hands.

So we didn’t just stand there and stare at him, I shook his hand and introduced us all.

“I’ll bet you saw The Parent Trap, didn’t you girls?” he asked knowingly.

More giggles, accompanied by nods of the head.

“They love that movie because Lindsey Lohan plays twins,” I explained.

He asked the girls what grade they were in, and they chatted for a couple of minutes. I asked what brought him to our town and he said he was shooting a movie (The Express, due out in December).

“Well, do you have a camera?” he asked me, probably eager to finish his game.

I pulled out my cell phone and flipped open the camera feature apologetically. He put one arm around each girl and I snapped off a grainy, shadowed photo. Then I made him move into better light and snapped off a second grainy, shadowed photo no better than the first, but hey, it prolonged our visit with him.

As we said good-bye and walked away, I realized the three of us had just had one of those unplanned and unexpected moments that you remember forever. And those are the best parenting moments – whether they involve a celebrity or not.

The pictures may not show every detail of Dennis Quaid’s chiseled face, but what they do illustrate is that he’s a dad who knows how much a brief encounter with a celebrity can mean to a couple of 8-year-old girls (and their equally star-struck mom).

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