Starring: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan
Director: Chris Columbus
Running Time: 125 mins
Mrs. Doubtfire is an American film about a recently-divorced father of three who feels he cannot live without his children. So, when he discovers his ex-wife is advertising for a new nanny, he dons a disguise to get back into their lives once again.
This is such a wonderful film. It’s got one of the most beloved performances of all time by Robin Williams, as well as a both hilarious and emotional and dramatic screenplay, and a good enough sense of fun throughout for this to be a hugely entertaining film.
Let’s start with the man at the centre of all this, Robin Williams. We’ve always adored him in pretty much every role he’s played, but this is arguably his most delightful.
On the one hand, his portrayal of Daniel Hillard, the man whose marriage unfortunately falls apart, is very impressive. Of course, he brings a huge amount of laughs including his hilarious impression of a hot dog, but he also shines by adding a very emotional and heartfelt performance that makes you feel so sorry for him, and as such want to support him all the more as he takes on this bizarre plan.
And then, his performance as the new nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, is just brilliant. In what would be a normally pretty repetitive joke, Williams manages to provide hilarity from start to finish every time he appears on screen, and as well as making Doubtfire a wonderfully warm character, he’s just so hilarious.
But it’s not just Williams who makes this film so brilliant, the writing is incredible too. The film is full of so many good jokes, and the direction that they take this ridiculous concept in is fantastic, and not what you expect at the beginning, keeping it interesting throughout.
However, what this screenplay does so well along with comedy is maintain an effective balance between a positive, family-friendly atmosphere (and this really is a good family film despite some more adult jokes), and a genuinely emotional story about the relationship between a father and his children that will easily pull you in.
So, overall, I’ll give Mrs. Doubtfire an 8.2, because it features a classic and delightful performance by Robin Williams as well as a hugely impressive and engrossing dramatic story that mixes with the family fun perfectly.