|#7 | Posted: 23 Apr 2012 11:32|
Hey Luvs --
Rummaging around my hard drive I discovered a long synopsis I once wrote for this version of the Parent Trap. I figure some of you who miss my work might appreciate it.
THE PARENT TRAP (a synopsis)
What if Walt Disney wanted to adapt the Parent Trap but found out Alfred Hitchcock had bought the rights first? And what if Walt tried to talk Hitch out of them but wound up loaning him Hayley Mills instead. With a penchant for dark psychological stories and the reigning teen queen at his disposal, Hitchcock's version of the Parent Trap might have gone something like this.
Tommy Rogers (Hayley Mills) is a slightly effiminate 14-year-old boy from California who's gone to a midwest summer camp to get away from his Dad (Brian Keith) who's always trying to push/bully him into becoming more of a he-man. It's a co-ed camp so he interacts with both boys and girls. Soon he meets Abby Sills (Mills again), a Bostonian girl who's a real tomboy. As in the original, the two get along like oil-and-water. First because Tommy resents his campmates insinuating he's a girl (because he literally looks like one) and second because Abby has a real competitive streak. Eventually their fighting gets them both exiled to a private room. The camp matron does this because she insists the lookalikes are brother and sister (despite records and claims to contrary).
Again, like the original version, the twins eventually bond and discover they're related. Tommy wonders about his mother (whom Abby says is still pining for their Dad) and feels his father's bullying is the result of a lonely heart, too. Eventually he comes with the idea of changing places to force their parents to meet and reconcile. Abby is seemingly reluctant but eventually gives in to her brother's scheme ("It must be Fate two long-lost siblings would meet," he insists). They spend the rest of the summer training each other. Finally Tommy leaves for Boston filled with anticipation to meet his beautiful mother.
However, when he arrives "home," things aren't quite as Abby described. Tommy's mother (Maureen O'Hara) is a beautiful aristocrat but she's also somewhat cold and authoritative. And less than pleased with "Abby's" new masculine haircut. It seems Abby forgot about her mother's order NOT to cut her beautiful long hair. And it seems Abby forgot to tell her brother something else about her home life: she got to go to summer camp ONLY on the condition that she'd give up all tomboyish ways for good once she came home.
His mother's attitude is difficult to take but Tommy tries to shrug it off, figuring it's because of her broken heart. He works to please both her and his grandmother by acting the dutiful daughter at home. First, because he needs to keep up the masquerade until the right time. Second, because he needs to get in his mother's good graces if he's going to learn to how rekindle his parents' romance. But the endless cycle of lessons -- elocution, poise, piano, et al -- and his attempts to hide his genetalia begin to wear him down. Not to mention that Abby has seemingly blown him off after a couple of late-night phonecalls ("not much to report, working on Daddy") which also gets him grounded when his grandfather catches him.
Eventually things come to a head and Tommy blows up at his family and reveals everything: his name, his gender, his scheme to reconcile his parents. His mother and his grandparents are momentarily taken back, but then his mother announces that "Abby" has still a society debut coming up and "she" is going to keep it so the family can save face.
Tommy is shocked that his mother is going to make him go through it. But he's even more shocked to learn that his mother doesn't care one bit about his father ("that backwood hick"). Their marriage was a mistake. All she wanted was a rich divorce settlement and a daughter to groom to perpetuate the family fortunes. And his sister KNEW all about it.
As far as his mother is concerned, since Tommy wanted to BE Abby so he can just continue on with the charade. He is now more or less under house arrest. He can go out but only to school or only with Abby's friends (since Tom's fears of being outed around them will force him to keep up the pretense). And his phone calls are monitored so he can't talk with anyone but Abby's friends. His grandparents even begin drug his meals to keep him passive and his mother threatens "something worse" if that doesn't work.
Eventually Tommy finds himself dating a boy from Abby's school named Bruce. He thinks Bruce might be his ticket out until he learns his mother arranged their meeting because she wants him to eventually MARRY into Bruce's family. When he overhears his mother talking about taking care of Tommy's dick so he can be a "good little girlfriend and wife" he knows he needs to escape. But since he's being watched and the phones are being tapped, he doesn't know what to do.
Then he remembers his father will be in Boston for an annual business meeting (it's how their parents met in the first place). If Tommy can get to him, his father will set things right. His mother might be powerful but his Dad is pretty formidable, too.
The next day Tommy manages to give his family the slip. Realizing they are in hot pursuit, he rushes to the hotel where his father is staying and manages to find him. Knowing he is still a dead ringer for his sister (having no time to change out of his dress, unpin his hair, or remove his makeup), Tommy tells his Dad he is really his son, not his long-lost daughter. This makes his father laugh. Tommy tries to explain what's going on but that makes his father laugh even more. Scornfully, Dad tells Tommy he KNOWS who he is. He's known all along. And then his sister comes out of the adjoining room. Only she's NOT dressed as "Tommy" -- she's dressed as herself, albeit a more sexy, vampish version.
Abby reveals that she grew up hating her mother and her dictatorial ways. She's not really a tomboy -- she cultivated that manner just to tick her mother off. But she knew things would come to a head (ie, marriage and life as a dutiful trophy wife puppet) and she wanted out. So she contacted their father and was surprised how less than pleased he was with his effiminate son. So they talked and conspired to trick Tommy into assuming her life. After all, she gloats, it must be Fate that two long-lost siblings would meet.
Desperately Tommy appeals to his father to take him back. His father sneers and tells him if he wanted a "daughter" he'd get a real one. And that's exactly what he's got now.
As Tommy takes in the news, his mother and grandparents arrive. But they're not interested in taking the real Abby home. She's much too strong-willed and indepedent (like her father). No, they'll settle for someone who's more compliant -- so compliant he'd let himself be turned into a girl.
But playtime, his mother says, is over. She then removes a syringe from her purse.
Tommy tries to escape but he's cornered and stabbed. As he black out, he hears his mother saying when he wakes up he'll be a girl with all the right pieces. Just the type of girl to make Bruce a happy boy.
Events fade and we discover everything has been a memory for "Abby" as she is dancing with Bruce at their wedding reception. She's now several years older (19) and the picture of feminine beauty. Looking around, she sees her mother and grandparents smiling with smug pleasure. And in another corner she spots her father and her sexy twin sister on the arm on an obvious beefcake. It's been five years since that day at the hotel but they haven't changed a bit.
Isn't it nice, her new husband says, that they came from California just for the ceremony?
Yes, Abby agrees as a single tear rolls down her eye. Bruce mistakes it for a tear of joy.
Everyone's eager to share our happinees, he says kissing her. We're like two lovebirds in a gilded cage.
Yes, Abby stoically agrees. A regular parent trap.