Nick Parker is one of the deuteragonists of the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap (the other being his ex-wife, Elizabeth James). He is the divorced father of Annie James and Hallie Parker. The latter lives with him and his housekeeper, Chessy, in Napa, California, where he owns a vineyard. He was engaged to the film's villain, Meredith Blake.
Role in the film
In the opening credits, Nick meets Elizabeth James on the QE2 in 1986, and 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. Nick raises Hallie in Napa, California with the help of his housekeeper, Chessy, where he owns a vineyard while Elizabeth raises Annie in London. In the summer of 1998 Nick sends Hallie to Camp Walden where coincidentally, Elizabeth sends Annie there as well. where the twins decide to switch places.
Annie returns to California and meets her father for the first time but Nick doesn't know this. He thinks she is Hallie, takes her home, and introduces her to his girlfriend, Meredith Blake, a 26-year-old publicist from San Francisco who is only interested in his fortune. The next day he takes Annie horseback riding and is about to tell her that he asked Meredith to marry him but she rides back to the house. When he catches up with her he asks her what she thinks about making Meredith a part of the family to which she says she likes it because he is going to adopt Meredith and give her a big sister to which he corrects her by saying that he is going to marry Meredith to which Annie flips out and starts yelling in French to which he is surprised because he never knew that Hallie could do so and tries to calm her, but she runs out upset. Then Meredith shows up and Nick informs her that "Hallie" didn't take the news well at all to which Meredith responds that the kid needs "a girl to girl chat" about the matter. Once Nick is out of earshot, Meredith threatens Annie that she's gonna marry Nick in two weeks "whether you like it or not."
In order to bring Nick and Elizabeth together, Annie, Hallie, Grandpa, Chessy, and Martin conspire to have them meet at a hotel in San Francisco by arranging for Nick to meet Meredith's parents and by not telling Elizabeth about Meredith. Nervous about meeting Nick, Elizabeth asks Martin to accompany her and Hallie. After a few comical mixups in the hotel, Nick and Elizabeth see each other, Nick finally learns about the switch, and the twins host a candlelit dinner for Nick and Elizabeth, served by Martin and Chessy, on a yacht decorated to recreate their first meeting. At dinner, Elizabeth mentions that Nick didn't follow her after she left him. They make plans for the twins to spend holidays together, but decide against resuming their relationship.
Hallie and Annie dislike this idea, so they force their parents to take them camping by refusing to reveal which twin is which. After Elizabeth persuades Nick and the girls to take Meredith instead of herself, the twins play tricks on Meredith, who becomes enraged and insists that Nick choose between her and his daughters. Nick chooses the twins, and Meredith furiously breaks off the engagement. Although Nick still grounds the girls for the shenanigans, he remarks to Elizabeth “I got to remember to thank them one day”.
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.
- Ironically, seven years after this film was released, Dennis Quaid would later star in the 2005 remake of Yours, Mine & Ours, where he plays a widowed coast guard with eight kids, who marries a widowed handbag designer (Rene Russo) with ten. But this time, the kids’ goal in that film is the total opposite of the twins’ goal in The Parent Trap; they want the parents to split up.