Flashback Friday-Careers That Could Have Been-The Parent Trap (1998) & What A Girl Wants (2003)

There are two types of child stars. There are the child stars, who despite their pasts, grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults and have long, successful careers.  Then there are the ones who end up in the newspaper tabloids. These former child stars are known more for their nightly activities and their day trips to court more than their latest movie.

The latter is the subject of this flashback Friday post.

Hollywood is all about remakes. One cannot go to the movie theaters without seeing at least one trailer for a movie that is being remade. In 1998, Lindsay Lohan burst into Hollywood with remake of the 1960’s movie, The Parent Trap.  Like Hayley Mills in the original 1961 movie, Lohan played identical twins whose divorced parents (Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson) split the girls up as infants. They unknowingly send their daughters to the same summer camp. When the girls realize that they are sisters, they hatch a plan to bring their parents back together.

The British are known for their stiff upper lip and strong adherence to tradition. But what happens when an American teenager, convinced that a British politician is her father, forces herself into his life?

Daphne (Amanda Bynes) was raised in New York City by her single wedding singer mother, Libby (Kelly Preston). Daphne has been told stories about her father, but has never met him. Without telling her mother, Daphne travels to England to meet her father, Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth). Henry has aristocratic lineage, but has given up to the title to run for Parliament.  All is well in Henry’s world, until the American teenaged daughter he never knew he had crashes into his world and could possibly ruin his election.

These movies are so good. Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are naturally gifted performers.  Sadly, we talk of their careers in past tense instead of present tense.



Flashback Friday-Badass Keira Knightley-Princess Of Thieves (2001) and King Arthur (2004)

Keira Knightley is part of a new generation of British actresses. She has the refinement and manners that non Brits assume all British people have. But she is also a performer who is moving beyond the BBC/PBS/Masterpiece type of roles that usually defines the career of a British actor or actress.

Two of her early roles exemplify her ability to choose interesting and realistic female characters.

In Princess Of Thieves (2001), Gwyn (Knightley) is the daughter of Robin Hood and the late Maid Marian. Her father (Stuart Wilson) is taken captive by the Sherif Of Nottingham (Malcolm McDowell). Gwyn must not only rescue her father, but the rightful heir the throne, Prince Philip (Stephen Moyer).

Three years later in 2004, she was Guinevere in King Arthur opposite Clive Owen in the title role.  Stripped of most of the  myth that is known about King Arthur, this movie is grounded in British history. Taking place in a time when the Romans were slowly receding back to the Mediterranean, the story revolves around the conflict between the Roman settlers  and the native Britain’s.

I recommend both.


Flashback Friday- Counterstrike (2002)

The subject of spies, espionage and government has long fascinated audiences. It explains why James Bond has been around as long as he has.

14 years ago, author Richard P Henrick published his novel, Attack On The Queen. It told the story of two brothers, both working for different government agencies, who must stop a nuclear clock from exploding under a cruise ship where the Chinese Premier and the American President are meeting for a G-7 Summit.

In 2002, the book was adapted for screen and renamed Counterstrike. Starring Joe Lando and Rob Estes as the brothers, they must put their past animosity aside to the prevent the bomb from going off and killing two of the world’s power powerful leaders.

To be fair, this is a TV movie. And the actors are not huge A list stars. But it is entertaining and the producers, knowing that the fans of the Lost World would be watching, were very wise in their casting decisions.

I recommend it.

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