Adam Sandler’s new movie, “Jack and Jill,” has me thinking about famous twins. It’s amazing how many there are. This List could easily have been doubled.
LUKE SKYWALKER & PRINCESS LEIA
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are fictional twin royalty. Their family ties were at the heart of the “Star Wars” mythos, first providing a nice plot twist and then fueling the emotional arc of the main characters.
THE WINKLEVOSS TWINS
You have to give Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss credit for tenacity. First they were (at the very least) outmaneuvered by Mark Zuckerberg for control of Facebook. Then their various lawsuits went nowhere. Then they came off looking less than sympathetic in “The Social Network.” Yet they still held their heads high and got a pistachio commercial.
“THE PARENT TRAP” TWINS
No offense to Lindsay Lohan’s legion of fans, but I prefer the 1961 version of “The Parent Trap,” with Hayley Mills. The craziness of this movie slaps you in the face when you sit there and realize how screwed up the parents are. They each take a twin in the divorce and NEVER TELL THEM. Wow.
THE MINNESOTA TWINS
Named after the Twin Cities, baseball’s Twins began playing in Minneapolis in 1961. This may sound odd, but the thing I kind of loved about them was that their home field for many years had a right field extension wall made of plastic. Everyone called it the “Baggie.”
THE BUSH TWINS
Barbara and Jenna, the daughters of former President George W. Bush, turn 30 later this month, on Nov 25. I think they, like all presidential children, deserve a lifetime of peace, quiet and dignity.
Evil twins are just plain fun. There’s no pretense; it’s simply a group of creative people telling an audience: “We’re taking one of our boring, nice characters and letting her raise some hell. Possibly while wearing a dark wig.” My favorite was Serena, Elizabeth Montgomery’s evil twin on TV’s “Bewitched.”
DOMINICK AND THOMAS BIRDSEY
Connecticut’s own Wally Lamb put twins at the center of his novel, “I Know This Much Is True.” I won’t ruin the plot here for people who want to read this masterful work, but I will say it put the lie to any notion that New Englanders lead boring lives.
THE WONDER TWINS
Let’s see. You’ve got a group of superheroes called the Super Friends, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. What’s missing? Bingo! A twin brother and sister who can only activate their powers when they touch hands. Thanks, Zan and Jayna. Problem solved.
TIKI & RONDE BARBER
The Barbers were highly enjoyable players to watch, even if Tiki did get a little mouthy about his former teammates after he left the New York Giants. Seeing him and Ronde in opposing uniforms had a way of looking like a promo for a sci-fi movie about cloned athletes.
THE OLSEN TWINS
They make the List for two reasons. One, they were hugely popular from the time they were TV toddlers on “Full House.” And two, their success always baffled me.
ROMULUS & REMUS
Fittingly, the story of Romulus and Remus is like two myths in one. First is the miracle of their survival. They were left to die as infants, only to be nursed by a she-wolf and then adopted by a shepherd. As adults, they discovered they were royalty. So they retake their land in ancient Italy – only to fight over where to build a new city. Remus is killed; Romulus builds the new city and calls it Rome. That’s harsh, man.
THE BOBBSEY TWINS
One set of twins wasn’t enough for this long-running series of children’s books. There were two duos: Nan and Bert, and Freddie and Flossie. They had adventures and solved mysteries, all very mild, in such ripping yarns as “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore,” and “The Bobbsey Twins at School.” Call me when “The Bobbsey Twins Change Their Smartphone Plan” is published.
THE DOUBLEMINT TWINS
The folks at the Wrigley Company have kept twins gainfully employed as spokeswomen for years. Their ranks include future TV stars Tia and Tamera Mowry and Jean and Elizabeth Sagal, sisters of the terrific actress Katey Sagal.
THE TWIN TOWERS
Ten years on, I still experience very strong, very complicated emotions when I see a photo or film clip of the towers. You do, too.