Mrs. Doubtfire has somehow become one of the most popular family comedy films of the 20th century. But the moment that you hold the Mrs. Doubtfire plot under even the most minor bit of scrutiny it completely falls apart. This is just one of the reasons why Mrs. Doubtfire sucks. Viewing the film within the context of the modern world, it’s not hard to find Mrs. Doubtfire transphobic, mean-spirited, and painfully unfunny. It’s disappointing that so many talented people worked on a film that seems dedicated to making the audience hate comedy.
Is Mrs. Doubtfire offensive? In every sense of the word, yes. Whether you’re turned off by the film’s lack of narrative follow-through, or the privilege that Robin Williams’s character, Daniel Hillard, carries throughout the film, there’s something for everyone to hate in this hit family classic. Vote up the most f*cked up things you never realized about Mrs. Doubtfire.
Sally Field Has No Idea What Her Husband Looks Like
And more to the point, no one in this movie seems to know what Robin Williams looks like. Sure, he's buried under pounds of latex, but the face hasn't been changed all that much. It seems like all you would have to do to alleviate this issue is film a scene where someone says, "You look like my dad," or whatever, and then Mrs. Doubtfire plays air guitar with a vacuum cleaner. Was the Hillard family's home life so fractured that no one looked at anyone in the face? Who knew that Mrs. Doubtfire would be a visual representation of the unraveling of the nuclear family?
That Attempted Murder Scene
Could Robin Williams' attempted murder of Pierce Brosnan be folded into any of the other horrible things about Mrs. Doubtfire? Sure. But this is poor decision-making at another level, and it deserves to be fully dissected. Drunk off of the success of his scheme (and alcohol), Robin Williams traipses through the kitchen of a fancy restaurant and cavalierly pours cayenne pepper on Pierce Brosnan's meal because he's such a petty human that he wants to ruin everyone's dinner.
At this point in the film, Daniel is nothing more than a Taco Bell employee that sneezes in the lettuce because of the lulz; he's a menace that has to be stopped. But he doesn't realize how terrible of a person he's been until Brosnan begins to choke to death on the over-seasoned shrimp. Never mind the concerns that this scene raises about Brosnan's lack of smell, the real bother is that Daniel is presented as the hero of the film for attempting to kill his romantic rival and then saving his life because he's too much of a coward to pull the trigger on his plan.
Everyone Is OK With Robin Williams Stalking Them
By the end of the movie, no one cares that Robin Williams was wearing the world's most expensive disguise to follow their every move and trick them into loving him again. The kids seem to think it's actually cool, and Sally Field finds it downright charming. A television executive even thinks it's such a great idea that he gives Mrs. Doubtfire a television show. What's wrong with this picture other than everything?
Mrs. Doubtfire Is the Film's True Antagonist
While the film casts Williams's character in the most sympathetic light (he's a down on his luck dad who's lost everything), it's obvious to anyone who has ever had to deal with a deadbeat parent or known someone with a substance abuse problem that the only person standing in Daniel Hillard's way is Daniel Hillard. He begins the film with everything that anyone could want. He has a successful voice-over career, a giant house in San Francisco, three plucky kids, and he's married to Sally Field. Hillard systematically deconstructs his life until he has nothing left, and that makes him so unhappy that he transforms into a monster and tries to ruin the lives of everyone he knows. Daniel Hillard is the parent you no longer speak to, the person you've blocked on social media, and the guy from high school who's working at a car wash all rolled into one.