Friday, April 25, 2014

04/25: Mrs. Doubtfire

It was just recently announced that a sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire is in development, with Robin Williams returning. Then I thought it would be a good time for me to write about one of my favorite movies from my pre-teen years. The movie came out in late 1993, and I was in sixth grade. This was one of those movies that became a part of me for the longest time.

Williams, in one of his best comedic roles, plays Daniel Hillard, who gets a divorce from his wife, Miranda (Sally Field). To make matters worse, he loses custody of his three children because of his unstable lifestyle, as in his ability to keep a job, lack of disciplinary skills, etc. Daniel, a voice actor, takes up work at a TV studio, while trying to rebuild his life. He is also informed that his ex-wife is hiring a housekeeper to look after the kids, so he quickly enlists his brother (a makeup artist) to make him a woman! The result is Mrs. Doubtfire, who is hired on, and immediately becomes a family fixture. Daniel enjoys his double life, while at the same time unhappy with Miranda's new love interest (Pierce Brosnan). Keeping his alter ego a secret becomes nonetheless a challenge!

A great family fun movie, with a few dark humor bits mixed in here and there. But it totally fits the definition of a perfect comedy: one that keeps you laughing throughout the movie, and it all turns out with a lesson and a happy ending. The lesson is about the importance of family, and keeping your life in order. How important are your children? What will you do for them? How far will you go for them? The answer for Daniel Hillard is obviously painted here. Many men can relate to Daniel, and luckily I don't think a lot of women can relate to Miranda. Even though Sally Field does a great performance in that movie, unfortunately I don't think careers are better than kids. Sorry, but that's just how I feel. I do think the real lesson learned in this movie is that people do change, for the best.

And going back to the sequel....I can already say it's not a great idea. I do agree with Chris Columbus's comments on the Mrs. Doubtfire character, about her being wasted (no not in a drunken way!). He wants to use her for better measures, since she is ageless. The sequel is not a new idea as I remember reading about it on imdb probably a decade ago and so many negative user comments flooded the page. Luckily Robin Williams rejected it (or them), but apparently he is on board for the new movie. As if his hit TV show wasn't enough....

p.s. If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, check out the deleted scenes, which mostly feature Polly Holliday, who plays grumpy Gloria, the Hillard's neighbor. In different cut scenes, Daniel 'poisons' her flowers!

My rating: 9 out of 10

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