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My second and final child, Dash, turned seven years old this past weekend. While I have a whole post forthcoming about that momentous event, it also reminded me of the moment I learned that I carried only a singleton and not twins, a surprise both times. On my father's side, twins appeared with regularity, and my grandfather was a twin; on my mother's side, my great-grandmother was a twin. For generations on both sides, eager relatives have been waiting for twins to reappear -- to no avail. I have to admit that I'm a wee bit bummed that they didn't appear for me, for I've always envied twins; no playdates are necessary, for a friend is always available... right? (According to some twin-mom friends, yes; according to others, no.) I'm intrigued on a numer of levels, not the least of which is how twin relationships are portrayed in the media. Twins seem to be fodder for some funny, funny stuff.
For example, in Adam Sandler's recent comedy Jack and Jill, his annual "playdate" with his twin sister comes in the form of an annual visit as they're both adults. The juxtaposition of a pretty laid-back brother with a sister who can be described as passive-agressive at best sets a pretty tense scene, interrupted periodically by high-profile cameos (hello, Johnny Depp!). The release of this movie on DVD inspired me to think about twin movies that I've enjoyed in the past -- and for someone of my generation, The Parent Trap stands out first and foremost.
Whether your favorite, like mine, is the original Parent Trap from 1961 starring Hayley Mills, or the redone LiLo verson (1998), the movie is so engaging because of the twins at its heart. Divorced parents each take a twin and raise her. The pair ends up at the same summer camp, at total odds with each other until they are forced to spend time together -- at which point they figure out their twinship. The movie is spent plotting how to reconcile their divorced parents, neither of whom ever remarried. The girls ultimately bring the parents back together by returning home in the other's place, one to California and one to Boston, necessitating a switch-back. For the rest of the story, you'll just have to watch it... What I enjoy most about this movie is the plotting of the kids because of their strong desire to be together; but as a mom, now, it takes a lot to get past the "how on earth could parents separate twins?" sentiment.
Then, too, Twins, from 1988, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, is another twin-touchstone film of my youth. Schwarzenegger plays Julius, a child created from a lab experiment to be genetically perfect (athletic, smart, etc.) while DeVito plays Vincent, a good-for-nothing "accident" of a twin, considered to be genetic trash. The experiment is considered a failure because of Vincent's birth alongside Julius's. The whole premise is hilarious because of the obvious difference in size, stature and -- well -- everything between DeVito and Schwarzenegger, neither of whom knew they had a twin at the start of the movie. It's part comedy, part action-movie, part social commentary, and all-around fun. And the best part is the very end of the movie (spoiler alert!), where the brothers work alongside each other, happily raising their own families -- including, of course, twins for each. What I enjoy most about this movie is simply watching two funny actors at their craft -- not Oscar-worthy, but certainly a laugh riot.
Do you have a favorite twin-themed movie? I'd love to add to my list through your comments below! And if you're interested, click here for an Amazon link if you're interested in adding it to your twin movie library. Enjoy the show!
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*Note: The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.