Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
There’s an alien spaceship out there that received MRS. DOUBTFIRE and found it to be the most horrific thing they’d ever seen and decided against invading our sicko planet. Case in point:
Aside from the scarring imagery (I seriously have some sort of terrifying deja vu when I see that first image), MRS. DOUBTFIRE is one of the funniest and most poignant films of the 1990’s. While JACK just scared the shit out of me, this was a Robin Williams movie I could get behind (along with FLUBBER and JUMANJI). There are so many films about screw-up fathers who attempt to make it up to their children, and somehow, this is one of the most touching. Apparently a father who moonlights as a grandmotherly figure fits in some sort of wish fulfillment.
While the film is hilarious, and Williams is note perfect, I’m not sure why this one ranks alongside the other films on this list. My parents aren’t divorced, so this film didn’t play out some elaborate fantasy of them getting back together. I don’t think I have a burning desire to cross dress, but…I think I could identify with Daniel’s costume, his persona, in becoming someone else, the ridiculousness of it all and how he was accepted and successful because of it. But that’s not the message in MRS. DOUBTFIRE: the message is that Daniel’s kids just needed a father all along, and it took him becoming their nanny to finally be a part of their lives, and to see that he truly was capable of being a good father to his kids.
The climactic scenes where Robin has to change back and forth from Daniel to Mrs. Doubtfire, while juggling an outing with his children and with his prospective boss Mr. Lundy, culminating in the amazing life-saving Heimlich maneuver performed on Pierce Brosnan’s Stu, is pure cinematic brilliance. I remember a summer in Lake Tahoe where I practically had this film on repeat, as it appealed to me on nigh every angle, even showcasing one of the weirdest routes of how a weird man could get his own TV show, something even then I think I wanted (though I don’t know if cross-dressing is in my future). If it was anyone else, MRS. DOUBTFIRE would’ve felt creepy and made parents’ stomach crawl (see above), but thanks to Williams and a game cast around him, it’s one of the best family movies ever.
Plus, the movie inspired this wonderful creation:
Oh, Ms. Featherbottom. Clearly I had a weird fixation with nanny figures growing up.