on November 9, 2004
A first-rate cast and an innovative script helped make 1993's "Mrs. Doubtfire" a big movie hit. Robin Williams, Sally Field, and Pierce Brosnan display their individual and collective acting talents in "Doubtfire". I enjoyed each of their performances here. Brosnan's quiet, understated, and laid-back portrayal of "the other man" in Sally's life might often get overlooked in this film, but I think Brosnan's character plays very nicely against that of Mrs. Doubtfire.
But this film, of course, 'belongs' to Robin Williams. It's a veritable tour-de-force for Robin here, as he manages to juggle two different roles, seemingly with ease. A remarkable "two-for-the-price-of-one" performance. He literally "becomes" Mrs. Doubtfire when he dons that wardrobe and make-up.
And Sally Field, as always, is outstanding here. In a way, she has the rather thankless job of playing opposite the human twin-tornado (Robin) in this film. But Sally is able to shine through in her own right, in my view. She's always a treat to watch on the screen. And "Doubtfire" is no exception.
Sally went from co-starring in one blockbuster movie to yet another -- after wrapping up "Doubtfire", she next played Tom Hanks' mom in 1994's mega-hit (and "Best Picture" Oscar-winner), "Forrest Gump".
The "Mrs. Doubtfire" DVD brims over with special stuff. There are more than 30 minutes of "Deleted Scenes" on the disc, scenes that Director Chris Columbus was pretty much forced to cut out of the movie due to time constraints. Kind of a shame too, because nearly all of these deleted scenes are very good, and would not have been a detriment to the film at all, IMO.
"Doubtfire" co-star Polly Holliday, no doubt, is one person who wishes a few of these tossed-out scenes had made it into the final cut of the movie. Because nearly all of Polly's work was left on the cutting room floor it seems. But, at least, these clips ARE available in some fashion -- as an extra bonus on this DVD.
I've found myself watching the "Deleted Scenes" area of this disc as much as the film itself. Polly Holliday is an absolute riot in many of these scenes, as she interacts with "Mrs. Doubtfire". Polly soon finds out that Mrs. Doubtfire's "secret" concoction for keeping her garden looking like a showplace is not exactly the best thing for her plants. LOL!
The DVD also contains interviews with the cast, Makeup Tests, Storyboards, Trailers, TV Ads, and more.
Video looks quite good here, even though this 1999-produced DVD has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions. But the 2.35:1 non-anamorphic Widescreen picture still looks fairly sharp and clear, with good colors.
There's a Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround soundtrack on the disc; along with a 2.0 DD Surround track. There's also audio in French 2.0 Surround. Plus a Commentary Track by Director Chris Columbus.
Other Disc Info ....................
> Subtitles? -- Yes (English and Spanish).
> Disc is Single-Sided.
> Paper "Scene Selection" Enclosure is included, featuring a different picture than the one on the front cover, which is unusual.
> Number of Chapters (Scenes) -- 23.
on December 28, 2003
It's hard to find a movie these days that the whole family can enjoy, but this is one of them. Some stellar set pieces by Robin Williams stay in my memory: dancing with the vacuum, the son walking in on his dad (dressed as a woman) peeing while standing up, smacking out his/her flaming fake bosom with pot lids, quitting his job as voice over by imitating Elmer Fudd and telling his boss to p-p-p-p-p-piss off, the switching roles and costumes at the restaurant near the end...
It's the story of divorce, and mom has custody and prevents dad (Williams) from seeing the kids. So he dresses as a British nanny and is hired to care for them. Beautifully acted by everyone. Very touching message lies just below the surface of all the slapstick. Invite the kids, your parents, the neighbors, the babysitter, and watch it over and over.
on May 30, 2003
In 1993, Chris Columbus directed one of the funniest films that Robin Williams has ever starred in: "Mrs. Doubtfire". Based upon the novel "Alias Madame Doubtfire" written by Anne Fine, Robin Williams plays the role of Daniel Hillard, a frequently unemployed actor who specializes in voice impersonations. He and his wife Miranda (Sally Field) have three children: Lydia (Lisa Jakub), Chris (Matthew Lawrence) and Natalie (Mara Wilson). With Miranda working as a highly successful designer, Daniel spends more time with the children than she can. After Miranda comes home to find her home in total disarray with an uproarious birthday party for Chris that includes petting-zoo animals, she completely loses her temper and tells Daniel that she wants a divorce. Daniel is dumbstruck and eventually loses custody of the children to Miranda in court, but wants desperately to spend more time with them than his visitation privileges allow. Upon learning that Miranda plans to hire a nanny to stay with the children when she's at work, Daniel decides to present himself as a potential nanny to Miranda. With the aid of his brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein), who is a makeup artist, and his brother's partner Jack (Scott Capurro), Daniel is transformed into a kindly old woman that he names Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. Fooled by Daniel's disguise, Miranda hires Mrs. Doubtfire. The story heats up even more when Miranda is courted by an old friend, Stuart 'Stu' Dunmeyer (Pierce Brosnan).
The acting in the film, especially Sally Field and Robin Williams, is superb and the story is completely engaging. Memorable scenes in the film include Chris' birthday party, Daniel's first interview with the social worker Mrs. Sellner (Anne Haney), Daniel getting a regular job, Daniel's various impersonations over the telephone, Frank & Jack testing various disguises on Daniel, Mrs. Doubtfire cooking her first dinner, Mrs. Sellner's visit to Daniel's apartment, the country club, and the restaurant. Other very memorable characters in the film include Jonathan Lundy (Robert Prosky), the bus driver (Sydney Walker), Mr. Sprinkles (William Newman), and Daniel's boss at the TV station (Joe Bellan).
If you enjoy films such as "Tootsie" (1982) and "Some Like It Hot" (1959), you're sure to enjoy "Mrs. Doubtfire". Overall, I rate "Mrs. Doubtfire" with 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a funny and engaging comedy.
on February 16, 2003
From the beginning, I was enchanted by this awesome comedic performance. Mrs. Doubtfire is about a man who gets divorced but really loves his kids, and goes to extremes to be with them. What does he doe? He pretends to be a maid by dressing up as an old lady. Robin does a great job of playing Mrs. Doubtfire, and changing roles.
I loved this movie. Robin Williams does a great job at playing two people. It's really amazing how he can switch voices (everything from Gandi to a Mafia thug to an old lady, Mrs. Doubtfire). It's really a hilarious movie, and although it's a little old, it's a classic. It was so funny and is suitable for both kids and adults. It's a little bit suggestive in some places (but usually the language is advanced too).
If you haven't seen this movie, then you should buy this DVD ASAP. You are missing out on Robin Williams at his best!
Some films you see once and they stick in your memory. "Mrs. Doubtfire" had everyone talking for weeks after we saw it originally in the theater. I still remember the story, but I wanted to see the film again and I'm glad I did.
The story in brief, Miranda (Sally Field) is a career woman who's tired of coming home tired from working hard and cleaning up after her actor husband, Daniel (Robin Williams) and their three children. After a particularly disastrous birthday party for their son that got the police called for a noise complaint, she throws Daniel out and demands a divorce.
This breaks Daniel and the kids' hearts, particularly when he can only see them once a week on Saturdays. He offers to take care of the kids after school and Miranda the court decline.
When Daniel learns that Miranda is going to hire a housekeeper, he decides to become that housekeeper. With the help of his brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein), Mrs. Doubtfire is born.
Daniel does such a convincing job as Mrs. D that neither the kids nor Miranda realize it's him. The problem comes in when Stu Dunmeyer (Pierce Brosnan) enters the picture and restart a once-dead relationship with Miranda.
Robin Williams literally makes this show. I remember back when the movie was first announced, I heard he was walking around Seattle as Mrs. Doubtfire interacting with unwary (and very lucky) citizens. In the making of secion, the cast comment that there is no Robin in Mrs. Doubtfire. Many times even knowing who the character was they thought she was a she.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" is just a brilliant and well-acted tale and always good for a laugh. I recommend this extended version over the others because it does have some fun deleted scenes.
on August 12, 2014
As I write this, I found out that our beloved, multi-talented, loving, awesome comedian Robin Williams just passed away at the age of 63. :( It was so sad to hear about that too. Which is why I'm commenting on this movie.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" was my favorite Robin Williams movie, hands down. He really delivered on a lot of his lines -- and I especially loved the rest of the cast: most notably Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan. A divorced husband, Robin is scared to lose his children to his ex-wife, so what does he do?? He decides to apply for a nanny position; he tricks his ex-wife by transforming into Mrs. Doubtfire! He even manages to fool his own boss.
I loved the kitchen scene where Robin was trying to make some dinner but the frying pan and the stove kept getting on fire (along with his wardrobe!!). He couldn't put it out, so naturally, he orders from a very expensive local restaurant. But Sally didn't know that!!! Robin also becomes jealous when Pierce enters the picture; he thinks that he's trying to hit on Sally, so his first order of business is to get him out of the picture!
He has the restaurant kitchen staff put some spice on Pierce's entrée. The minute that Pierce chokes on some shrimp, it's "Mrs. Doubtfire" to the rescue! After performing the Heimlich maneuver, "Mrs. Doubtfire's" mask starts to peel off. And Sally is aghast when she finds out that "Mrs. Doubtfire" is actually her ex-husband! I truly enjoyed the shock/paralysis facial expression on Sally's face!! She could NEVER duplicate that kind of scene -- and to throw fuel to the fire, she chanted "the whole time, the whole time -- the WHOLE TIME!!" with such anger and venom. Sally Field is truly a class of her own right (most noted in 1989's "Steel Magnolias").
This is a movie that I've watched over 15 times, and I NEVER get sick of it. If you are a Robin Williams fan, you definitely need to purchase and/or stream this title. :)
on August 12, 2014
Watched this in memory of Robin Williams -- and what great memories! What an amazing comic genius, as well as a great actor. Here he plays madcap, happy, impressions, zany, sad, jealous, angry, prim, lonely, tender, stern, exuberant, defeated, and on and on -- all in just this one film. Living in the Bay Area, it was hard not to have met him a few times, and all I can say is what a wonderful human being. Thanks for all you good deeds Robin, thanks for making us all happier and richer because of your talent, and thanks for great film memories like these!
on November 7, 2001
This is truly the funniest movie I have ever seen in my life! Robin Williams is hilarious as Daniel Hillard and Mrs. Doubtfire. His saucy performance makes this a classic that many people will watch again and again. Sally Field is also terrific, and the children (Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, and Mara Wilson) are all fantastic as well. This movie is constantly played over and over at my house.
"Mrs Doubtfire" is a watered-down version of "Tootsie" -- an actor has professional problems (he's "too serious" about his work, alienating people), and disguises himself as a woman to obtain employment. In the process of pretending to be someone he isn't, the actor develops a better understanding of himself and his relationship with other people.
"Tootsie" is rightly considered a classic (it was one of the films analyzed in my screenwriting class), primarily because it's built around the millennia-old issue of how men and women relate to each other, and we accept the preposterous situation, because it is not, per se, the story's focus. "Mrs Doubtfire" is about the narrower concern of the place of the wife and husband in a marriage, and how it affects their children. The initial situation is realistic, but the events growing out of are contrived.
"Mrs Doubtfire" can't decide whether it's a drama about divorce, or a cross-dressing farce. It succeeds almost perfectly at the latter (despite too many scenes of Williams switching his costume), but largely fails at the former. Both Daniel and Miranda need to make attitude adjustments -- he recognizing that he can be an adult with his children (and they'll still love him), she acknowledging that she has largely abandoned her children for her career, and has no right to complain that he's giving the kids the attention they crave. Daniel's change is well-dramatized (eg, when Mrs D tosses the TV remote in the fishtank and insists the kids do their homework), but Miranda's is not. Sally Field's character wavers between firmness and sentimentality, without any plausible conflict. (I ascribe this to Chris Columbus's weak directing. A better director (and possibly a better script) would have found a better balance between the drama and the comedy.)
Robin Williams' makeup is nothing short of startling, rightly winning the Makeup Oscar. Nevertheless, we're expected to believe that, like Clark Kent, his disguise is impenetrable. Williams' voice is instantly recognizable (even when doing impressions), and Mrs Doubtfire is so obviously Williams-in-drag that one wonders how his wife and children could be fooled for more than a few seconds.
There are two major technical errors. The dialog for an animated film is recorded //before// the drawings are made. Cosmetic appliances (especially ones as complex as Daniel's) usually take hours to apply, and are normally thrown away after a single use.
The PG-13 rating is for vulgar and sexually suggestive language that's appropriate for the story. This is not a film for pre-teens.
The Blu-ray image is grainless and creamy-smooth. If there's a loss of sharpness and detail, it isn't obvious or bothersome. There's a lot of supplemental material, including multiple takes of Williams ad-libbing.
I have no problem recommending "Mrs Doubtfire" for a single viewing. But (for me) it's not one of those "annual viewing required" films.
on January 13, 2016
I just realized that my younger children never saw this classic. This is one of my favorite movies. I had to purchase this to share on a family movie night. Atfirst the kids didn't want to watch it. Just to let you know, we all enjoyed it. And now they have a favorite with Mrs. Doubtfire also.