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4.8 out of 5 stars416
4.8 out of 5 stars
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 March 2014
This brilliant film, made in 1993, still has ongoing appeal. Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, an unemployed voice actor living in San Francisco. Daniel adores his children Lydia, Chris and Natalie, but his wife, Miranda (played by Sally Field), thinks his approach to life and to parenting is irresponsible and immature. Chris gets a bad school report but Daniel still gives him a birthday party. Miranda says this is the last straw and starts divorce proceedings and the judge gives her provisional custody of the children, since Daniel has no job and no suitable home for the children.
Daniel, who doesn't want a divorce, finds out that Miranda is going to get a housekeeper because she won't let Daniel help look after the children. Daniel manages to alter her ad and then rings her, using his acting skill to pose as a series of terrible applicants. When she is desperate, he rings again, pretending to be a charming, elderly Scottish nanny, Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. Miranda invites Mrs. Doubtfire for an interview and Daniel gets his brother Frank, a makeup artist, to transform him into Mrs. Doubtfire. He gets the job.
The film is funny and touching and the ending is bitter-sweet. I have shown this film to children many times, without getting tired of it. Robin Williams gives a virtuoso performance, though it may be that it was the pressure of constantly having to be fresh, funny and lovable that drove him into his alleged problems with alcohol and drugs - the down side of fame. He is a marvellous performer and this is a highly entertaining film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 March 2013
Mrs. Doubtfire is directed by Chris Columbus and adapted to screenplay by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon from the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire written by Anne Fine. It stars Robin Williams, Sally Field, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Harvey Fierstein. Music is by Howard Shore and cinematography by Donald McAlpine.

Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a struggling out of work actor who when faced with divorce from Miranda (Field) and separation from his three children, disguises himself as an old female housekeeper in order to see them daily.

Centrally as a film it is what it is, a chance for Williams (excellent) to dress up in drag and act the goof, but boy does he do it well. In the mix is the serious aspects involving the pain of imminent divorce and separation from one's children. The script is sharp and ready made for Williams' brand of cynical witticisms, while not painting Brosnan's Stuart Dunmire (the new man in Miranda's life) as an oily snake shows good sense in the writing. The child actors are engaging and never sickly, while Fierstein as Daniel's artistic eccentric brother is gloriously colourful.

A real family crowd pleaser that turned a profit of over $400 million at the worldwide box office, it's not a film that pushes boundaries of "drag" comedy, and you don't have to dig too far for flaws. But this is often very funny and it hits the right emotional beats for the topic at hand. 8/10
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 April 2014
Larger than life jobbing actor Daniel Hillard's (Williams) strained relations with his wife Miranda (Field), finally hits rock bottom when she asks for a divorce. Losing custody in the ensuing court hearing, Daniel can't bare being apart from his children, so when his wife advertises for a nanny, he uses his acting abilities & his brothers film makeup/prosthetics artist skills, to disguise him as a 60 year old woman & become the nanny himself. Comedy & mayhem ensure.

The structure of the film works very well, as it endears us to this boyish loving family man with virtuous principles, forced to the extreme measure of dressing as a women to see his own children. Growing more self sufficient as an individual but eventually making a rod for his own back with his Mrs Doutfire creation. Undergoing the transformation & keeping up the facade under pressure across a series of hilarious situations is the most fun. While becoming his own wife's confidant, leading to some awkward moments, funny & tender dialogue that shows Daniel & Miranda as loving parents who want the best for the children, to spend equal time with a mother & father figure. And while it is a wonderfully funny & laugh out loud comedy, it also does great justice to it's serious subject matter of divorce, if a bit sugary with it.

Robin Williams (Jumanji) gives a tour de force performance as the eccentric/hyper active Daniel & his calm/professional alter ego Mrs Doubtfire, showcasing his great comedy abilities & ad lib, as well as a genuine & heart tugging acting performance. Sally Field (Forrest Gump) is great as the straight gal to Williams eccentricities , offering up some comedy of a different nature while maintaining a likable personality inkeeping with the positive vibe of the movie. A pre-James Bond, Pierce Brosnan is a good sport as the charming, successful high school friend of Miranda, moving in to replace Daniel. The child stars are wholesome & give credible performances, Lisa Jakub (Independence Day), Matthew Lawrence (The Hot Chick) & Mara Wilson (Matilda). Also co-stars Harvey Fierstein (Our House) , Polly Holliday (The Parent Trap) & Robert Prosky (Last Action Hero).

In conclusion, Mrs Doubtfire is a fun family comedy that at the same time tactfully handles the serious subject matter of divorce. Contains mild language & mature themes. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2009
Fantastic film, Robin Williams at his best as Mrs Doubtfire & as Daniel Hilliard. Anybody who likes this film will love this family fun edition; features bonus features such as the making of the film, behind the scenes which shows Robin Williams improvising. Anybody who has seen this film should get this edition of it, great value only 4.98 on amazon which is fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2013
This is without a doubt one of Robin Williams best performances, he is co convincing as Mrs Doubtfire and incredibly funny. I've watched this film so many times, probably hundreds and everytime I laugh that much it hurts! I would recommend this to any Robin William's fan. Mara Wilson is ever so talented in this film, it also shows how old it is now as she is now a grown woman. Sally Field and Peirce Brosnan are also both superb actors, who's characters are great. There really are so many great things to say about this film, it's a must for any family, wanting to sit down on a rainy afternoon. I gurantee you'll want to watch it over and over and over! Definite 5stars from me all the way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2014
I'm writing this in December 2014 when the cover of this DVD has a snowflake-filled seasonal cover with everyone in santa hats in the photo. I can't believe the distributor would superimpose Christmas imagery on the cover of this DVD and sell it at Christmas a few short months after Williams' death to cash in not once, but twice. Despicable.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2004
One of thoese rare films that you can watch again and again. Robin Williams plays his best role ever as a divorce Father who with the help of his make up artist brother answers an advert ( placed by his ex wife) as a housekeeper dressed as a middle aged woman- Mrs Doubtfire.
The film has to be watched again and again not so much for the film contents but it has excllent one liners that you could miss easily. The casting is by far one of the best and yet it should be up there with planes trains and automobiles as a all time classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2012
Of course, kids whose families are going through divorce might find this painful in some parts. But some kids may find the movie helpful because it lessens feelings of being alone or unique. Parents need to know that as funny as this movie is, it's really about the pain of separation and divorce. Serious issues such as the perception that Daniel is a bad father because he doesn't make a lot of money, and the implied criticism of careerist mother, Miranda, are buried under a lot of padding and jokes and voice impersonations.
This movie is so different from other movies regarding divorce in the manner in which it deals with real human problems. Though it provides a basis for a comedy, the issue of divorce and custody is treated seriously. Irresponsible Daniel grows from the experience of looking at the world from a woman's point of view. Recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2014
If ever there was a man who couldn't fool you that were a woman, the hairy, masculine Robin Williams is it. But he plays the title role brilliantly. His accent though they say it is British is of course Scottish and not from England as portrayed, is impeccable. This is a very funny film with lots of laugh out loud moments especially when his false face gets run over by a truck and when he gets muddled up and sits at the wrong table in the restaurant. Also very sad that he has to resort to such measures to just get to see his kids. the kids are all great actors. If you want a good belly laugh see this film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2009
Robin Williams puts all of his quick wit into Daniel Hillard and Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire and gives us something to laugh about every time either of them is on screen. From Daniel's dinosaur rap to Mrs. Doubtfire attempting to cook a proper dinner without thinking about the two safety hazards in front of him. The hilarity of the situation really kicks in when both Daniel and Mrs. Doubtfire must appear at a restaurant simultaneously.

Though I enjoyed this film as a child, it definitely has to be seen as an adult. Many of the jokes can only be understood and therefore fully appreciated in the latter part of life. Perhaps it's not a fresh story but the way Chris Columbus has turned this into a fast paced comedy is incredible, it also has a damn good soundtrack. Who doesn't enjoy "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and picture Williams dancing with the vacuum cleaner and broom, lets be honest we've all done it...well we would if we cleaned.

Performances across the board are wonderful, with Sally Field as the ferocious Miranda Hillard; Pierce Brosnan as the suave Stuart Dunmeyer, something that seems to come naturally to any roll he plays; Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence and Mara Wilson come off brilliantly as the innocent kids Lydia Hillard, Christopher Hillard and the sweet little Natalie Hillard. Another performance that can't go unnoticed is the wonderful Harvey Fierstein in the very comfortable role of Daniel's gay brother Frank Hillard. He of course happens to be a makeup artist and is more then content to turn his brother into a woman.

Though Brosnan's character is not developed enough for us to fully appreciate him he has a clear role as a punch bag for Daniel's hidden meaning jokes as Mrs. Doubtfire. A particularly superb scene occurs when Daniel is trying to find the look and goes through several altered faces as well as several marvellous voices, a point here no-one other then Williams could have made this anywhere near as uproarious. He makes Mrs. Doubtfire droll, rude, dominant and most importantly, he makes her utterly beilievable.

The only downside to this film is the mushy ending. Possibly the writers were ordered to write a strong morale ending where everyone is happy and a clear message is sent to people. The fun of the film is suddenly lost after the restaurant scene leaving 15 minutes of soppiness. Luckily this doesn't undermine the rest of the film and I'm sure there are plenty of people who enjoy that ending. It may also be the case that Hollywood rushed the writers of what could've been the perfect film, at points there seems to be a lack of meaningful or comical dialogue, which is a shame.

Un-Doubt-edly one of the funniest movies made and a must have DVD for any fans of Williams so get this DVD and in the wise words of Mrs. Doubtfire "brace yourself".
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