Picks and Pans Review: Parent Trap Iii

updated 04/10/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/10/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Sun., April 9, 7 P.M. ET)

A-

Sequels, they say, are never equals. But this two-hour TV movie is more than enchanting. It's truly funny, with spirited dialogue. (Remember dialogue?) Hayley Mills, who starred as twins Susan and Sharon Evers in the classic 1961 Walt Disney comedy The Parent Trap, returns in the same roles. The plot hinges around the grown-up Susan, an unmarried Southern California interior designer who gets work redecorating the house of a widowed magazine writer, Barry Bostwick. Although Barry likes the house the way it is, his scheming, fatuous fiancée (Patricia Richardson) wants it completely redone to satisfy her own minimalist taste and intelligence. This guy is the kind of father who doesn't really know what's best for him, but his triplet of daughters, played by real-life triplets Leanne, Joy and Monica Creel, do. With the help of Susan's twin sister, Sharon, they set out to get Susan together with Barry. Colorful characters abound, including a female construction crew at work on the house. Especially amusing is Richardson, who licks the cream filling out of Oreo cookies before she throws them away. Director Mollie Miller keeps the plot moving at a frenetic enough pace that its improbabilities don't trip you up. Though it does seem odd that a magazine writer can afford a plush ranch-style house on the beach. Hmmm. Wonder if his publication needs a TV critic?

Jeff Jarvis is on special assignment.

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