Elizabeth James is one of the deuteragonists in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap (the other being her ex-husband Nick Parker). She is the divorced mother of both identical twin protagonists Annie James and Hallie Parker. The former lives with her in London.
In 1986, Elizabeth decides to take the QE2 from London to New York, since she was afraid of flying. On board, she meets Nick Parker, who is from California and has the same fear. They eventually fall in love and wed on board, getting their picture taken by a photographer on there.
Shortly afterwards on October 11, Elizabeth gives birth to twins Annie and Hallie, but for some reason, she and Nick divorce shortly afterwards and she gets custody of Annie and takes her to London while he does so of Hallie and takes her to California with both parents deciding to not tell them about each other. In London, Elizabeth and Annie move in with the former's widowed father, Charles James, and she gets a job designing wedding gowns and eventually becomes famous for it.
In the summer of 1998, Elizabeth sends Annie to summer camp at Camp Walden, where coincidentally, Nick sends Hallie there as well. This is where they meet each other for the first time and decide to switch places, hoping to reunite their parents. When Hallie returns to London as Annie, she sees her mother for the first time while Elizabeth believes that she is Annie, unaware of the switch and asks her to come to the studio where she works to which Hallie does and gets her picture taken with the wedding model at the studio. Afterwards, she asks her mom how she and her dad met to which Elizabeth explained how they did so (read the events from above). The next day at lunch, Hallie asks her mom to try the wine that she drinks, to which she does and guesses the grape made in it comes from California. Elizabeth and Charles believe that she has learned about wine at summer camp, still unaware that it's Hallie and not Annie.
When Hallie goes outside to receive a phone call from Annie in California, telling her that their dad is planning on remarrying a young woman named Meredith Blake, Hallie is caught by Charles to which she goes into her mother's bedroom and reveals to her that she is Hallie, that Annie is in California with Nick, and that they switched places to which sends Elizabeth in shock but she tells Hallie that she loved her whole life and decides to go with her to California to switch the girls back but promises her to talk with Nick about a new custody arrangement so the girls can see each other every holiday of the year, unaware that Nick is planning on remarrying. Once there, Elizabeth and Hallie go to the hotel to meet Nick, who is actually there to meet Meredith's parents, unaware that his ex-wife is there and of the switch. Once inside, Elizabeth gets separated from Hallie and Martin, her butler, who accompanied them on the trip, when she left her purse behind and meets up with Annie, who she thinks is Hallie, and tells her to meet her upstairs. Chessy, Nick's housekeeper, takes her there.
When Elizabeth walks back to the elevator she catches Nick with Meredith in it and she waves mindless to him while he is stunned to see her. Once upstairs she is reunited with Annie, Hallie, and Chessy, who take her into the room and she tells them about seeing Nick in the elevator to which the twins tell her that he is remarrying to the wrong woman for him and that they should reunite because they're perfect for each other. But she says she doesn't wish to do so but wishes to switch the twins back. She then goes downstairs to the bar, gets a drink, and meets Meredith, unaware that she's the one that Nick is marrying, who tells her that she loves a wedding gown she designed. Outside Elizabeth is reunited with Nick and the twins are revealed to which surprises him. Elizabeth asks them if she can talk with him alone.
Nick shows Elizabeth his wine collection, which includes the wine they drank at their wedding. Elizabeth is touched by this gesture at first, but has a change of heart and returns to London with Annie. However, when Elizabeth and Annie get home, they find Hallie and Nick waiting for them, having flown there on the Concorde. Elizabeth is fearful of remarrying, but she yields to Nick's confidence, and Annie and Hallie look on happily as Nick and Elizabeth embrace.
The end credits feature photographs of Nick and Elizabeth's second wedding, also aboard the QE2, with the twins as bridesmaids and Martin presenting Chessy with an engagement ring.
- Elizabeth shares some similarities with Anita Dearly, from 101 Dalmatians, who was played by Natasha Richardson's real life sister Joley Richardson, as both characters work in fashion designing, and are sweet and caring mother figures.