I was one of the few human beings had not seen MRS. DOUBTFIRE
at the movies. Why had I avoided it before? I thought, incorrectly,
that it was a slapstick comedy made up mainly of sight gags. I should
stop paying attention to the advertising.
I found MRS. DOUBTFIRE to be a gem of a movie that worked almost
perfectly on two levels for me. First, it was a comedy in the spirit
of, albeit not quite as good as, TOOTSIE. I laughed so hard several
times that I had trouble stopping. Second, it is a serious and sad
movie about the pains of a divorce - especially about the effects on
the Dad and on the kids.
The mom (Sally Field) was a workaholic who even after the divorce
would drop the kids off late and pick them up early because she was so
busy you see and had very little time and had all of these things to do
for work and ... The Dad (Robin Williams) was the positive force in
the family. He was very funny with the kids, and they loved him unlike
his wife who decided she could not stand him. His wild and crazy
antics, like the birthday party with the animals, were too much for the
wife. She dumped him. At the same time he lost his job over an
integrity dispute with his employer.
Unemployed and needing a job he takes a position as the three
children's nanny but with disguised as Mrs. Doubtfire. Unemployed and
without a suitable home for them, he is degraded by the courts to be a
visitor (Saturdays only) in his children's lives.
I found even his costume to have wonderful symbolism in it too.
He was dressed as a fat and unattractive person whereas inside he was a
much thinner and good looking person. He wanted in the worst way to
break out of this and be himself again.
I hated the way they wrapped up the ending, but depending on your
situation and your beliefs, you may love it.
This movie is a tour de force for Robin Williams - probably one of
his greatest roles ever. I have had mixed but mainly positive feelings
about him in the past. I thought he was brilliant in some of his
movies (AWAKENINGS, DEAD POET SOCIETY, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, and MOSCOW
ON THE HUDSON) and unwatchably bad in others (especially THE FISHER
KING). You can feel his pain in this movie, and his humor is
incredible. The rest of the actors and actresses were okay, but in a
MRS. DOUBTFIRE runs 2:07, but I thought it was carefully edited
(Raja Gosnell) and directed (Chris Columbus) and I would not want to
cut out or change very much of it at all. It is rated PG-13 for the
seriousness of its material. I STRONGLY recommend this movie to
everyone and rate it *** 1/2.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes