Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Director: Chris Columbus
Starring: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan
Running Time: 125 Minutes

"We're his god damn kids too!"

When loveable and perhaps neurotic Daniel (Robin Williams) decides to throw his son an extravagant 14th birthday party, it's the last straw for workaholic-mom Miranda (Sally Field). His kids mean the world to him, so following a custody battle that he knows up-front always sides with the mother, Daniel decides to do whatever it takes to stay close to them, even if that means dressing up like a sixty-year old woman. Putting together some headlines on the front page of the local newspaper to form the nanny's name: Doubt Fire, Mrs. Doubtfire.

This story of deception goes to show just how much Daniel loves his children. It all goes well for awhile, Mrs Doubtfire becomes a useful asset to the Hillard home, the kids start succeeding in school, the house becomes spotless, and Miranda actually seems unnaturally happy for once in her life. When she starts dating again, to the rich and witty Stu (Pierce Brosnan), the green eyes of jealousy starts popping up which should set off some alarms that something isn't right with her nanny-but it doesn't, she gets in too deep and becomes oblivious to what happens around her, until her birthday dinner that is. That's where everything comes to a screeching halt.

Although Daniel met every single condition the judge told him he had to meet, his recent behavior found him to be unfit  to take custody of his children. While this saddened the mood of the ending, the TV station director saw potential in the great Mrs. Doubtfire and offered Daniel the leading role-after all who else should play her except for the man who created her? At least now his kids can see him daily, and he can entertain the others like he was intended to do. A couple subliminal messages later, not necessarily directed towards her, Miranda finally gave in and let Daniel see his kids on a regular basis - although life as a couple was long over.

In my opinion, this movie was Robin Williams' best performance ever. Of the few films I've seen regarding custody battles, this one always stands out as one with the highest probability of being re-watched. Sometimes parents just don't belong together, they try piecing together a life for the best interest of their children. This can only go on for so long before they get tired of the same nonsense day after day. Would Daniel and Miranda be better suited if they didn't have children at all? It's quite possible that if this movie was rewritten or a prequel was written to before they had the kids, they wouldn't be married and would likely live a happier lifestyle. This is all speculation though since they were married and had three kids.

Consensus: If you haven't seen this movie yet (shame on you), run out to any store that sells movies and buy it immediately. You won't be disappointed with this story. If you liked Kramer vs Kramer (1979) and enjoy comedies based on a similar story, I guarantee you'll like this one too...and hey, if you don't, at least you can cross off another film from the late Robin Williams' filmography. He brought joy to his audience, it's unfortunate he couldn't have that joy in his own life. RIP, Mr Williams. July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014
"I am not a crook!"

My Rating: 10/10 -- Buy it, own and cherish it forever!!
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) on IMDb

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