Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mrs. Doubtfire

One of my favorite movies.

Mrs. Doubtfire
-1993 American comedy film starring Robin Williams, Sally Field
-Based on the novel Madam Doubtfire by Anne Fine

Did You Know?
-Mrs. Doubtfire's accent was inspired by Scottish director Bill Forsyth, who Robin Williams worked with on Being Human
-The makeup required to become Mrs. Doubtfire took 4 1/2 hours each day
-Mara Wilson's movie debut
-Robin Williams based the character of Mrs. Doubtfire off his nanny in real life.

-Daniel Hillard(Robin Williams) is a talented, yet out of work actor and devoted father to his 3 kids Chris(Matt Lawrence), Lydia(Lisa Jakub) and Natalie(Mara Wilson). Unfortunately, his marriafe to his workaholic wife Miranda(Sally Field) is getting to be as strained as ever, with uptight Miranda growing to dislike her husband's immature and random behavior. Despite knowing his wife would hate it, he hires a mobile petting zoo and throws a party for his son Chris. After getting a complaint at her office from a neighrbor, she discovers what has happened and demands a divorce. Since he has no income or home, Miranda gets custody of the kids. Now Daniel has visitation rights on Saturday evenings, which devastates him as he loves his kids more than life itself. The judge considers this and agrees to do a joint custody arrangement if Daniel can hold down a job and create a suitable living space within the time of 3 months
-Daniel soon learns that his now ex-wife is going to hire a housekeeper. So he enlists the help of his brother Frank(Harvey Fierstein), a makeup artist, his acting skills and his partner Jack(Scott Capurro) to transform him into Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, a 60 year old British nanny so he can secretly spend time with his kids. Mirand is happy with Mrs. Doubtfire and they quickly become friends, even though the kids are adjusting just barely to their new caretaker. Daniel, as Mrs. Doubtfire, is now able to see his kids every day, and uses this to be the firm father figure he was not previously. Eventually, the kids begin to warm up to Mrs. Doubtfire's methods and Miranda is able to recement her relationship with her kids and Daniel as well, who begins to change, through his alter ego, by learning gourmet cooking and refurbishing his new apartment.

-For a while, he is able to keep the charade up, despite nearly being discovered by his caseworker Mrs. Sellner(Anne Haney) and trying to break up his ex-wife's relationship to Stuart Dunmire(Pierce Brosnan), who strongly dislikes Daniel. He is discovered when Chris walks in on him in the bathroom by mistake. He then explains to Lydia and Chris that he dresses as Mrs. Doubtfire only to see them every day. He also warns them not to tell their mother, as he would probably end up in jail and might neve see the kids again or Natalie, as she is too young to understand, might blab the whole truth. They are happy to have their father back and agree to keep the secret.
-Elsewhere, at the TV station, where Daniel works as a shipping clerk, the station's CEO Jonathan Lundy(Robert Prosky) sees him playing around with dinosaurs on a children's set and is impressed enough to schedule a dinner meeting to hear his ideas. Stuart plans on celebrating Miranda's birthday by taking the family to the same restaurant at the same time and everyone wants Mrs. Doubtfire to be there. Daniel tries to put off his dinner with Lundy, but he is fully booked up, and realizes he can't cancel the appointment. At the restaurant, Daniel tries to juggle between Lundy and his family, using the restroom to change. Daniel dumps cayenne pepper on Stuart's order of jambalaya, something he is allergic to. He also gets extremely drunk throughout the evening and forgets to remove some of his costume before going back to Lundy's table. He covers the mistake by saying that his alter ego is a new idea for a TV personality. Lundy is again impressed and agrees to put the character into a possible TV show.

-At that exact moment, Daniel notices Stuart is choking on the pepper and out of regret, he administers the Heimlich maneuver. His face mask tears off though, showing part of his real face. Miranda is angered and horrified to discover that "Mrs. Doubtfire"  is really her husband in disguise. Later on, at the court hearing, Daniel makes a plea to the judge, saying the disguise was to spend time with his kids. The judge then grants Mirand full custody while limiting Daniel to supervised visitations once a week, as his behavior was deemed disturbing.

-Without Mrs. Doubtfire around, the kids are depressed and Miranda admits that their lives were so much better with the nanny around. However, they are surprised one day when they turn the TV on and there is Mrs. Doubtfire, the star of Lundy's new program "Euphegenia's House". It becomes the highest rated show, creating the possibility that the show will air nationwide. Miranda pays a visit to Daniel on the set and tells him that she doesn't want to keep hurting the kids and that they were so much happier with Mrs. Doubtfire around. She sorts things out with the courts and Daniel has unlimited access to the kids, eventually they make up. Daniel picks the kids up to spend an afternoon with him, while Miranda watches an episode of Daniel's show in which Mrs. Doubtfire answers a letter from a child of divorce asking for advice. She says that no matter what type of living arrangement a family may have, love will maintain the bond of the family.

  • Robin Williams as Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire
  • Sally Field as Miranda Hillard
  • Lisa Jakub as Lydia Hillard
  • Matthew Lawrence as Christopher Hillard
  • Mara Wilson as Natalie Hillard
  • Pierce Brosnan as Stuart "Stu" Dunmire
  • Harvey Fierstein as "Uncle Frank" Hillard
  • Scott Capurro as "Aunt Jack" Hillard
  • Robert Prosky as Jonathan Lundy
  • Polly Holliday as Gloria Chaney
  • Anne Haney as Mrs. Sellner
  • Martin Mull as Miranda's partner at work
  • Todd Williams as Todd the Bartender
  • * James Rankin as Matthew
  • Stuart Fredrick Hillard as Arnold Alden
  • Roscoe Lee Browne as Buck
  • Cloris Leachman as Cleo (uncredited)
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