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 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.
Robin Williams Gaslights A Sad Old Man And Breaks His HeartVideo: YouTube
Mrs. Doubtfire contains one of the most hauntingly sad scenes in modern cinema, and it takes less than a minute (you can watch it above). After Robin Williams shenanigans his way into working for/stalking his family, he has to take the late bus home most evenings. The bus is driven by an older, clearly single man, and they're usually the only two on the vehicle.
The guy seems like just the sweetest. He compliments Robin Williams's hairy legs, saying, they're "Natural. Healthy. Just the way God made you." It seems almost painfully obvious that the highlight of this bus driver's day is flirting with this single, Irish, age-appropriate woman.
Robin Williams never reveals his true identity to the man, and even politely refuses to go on a date with him in a deleted scene (in which we find out the man is a recent widower). The problem is, this guy is going to figure out what was happening, and he is going to be devastated.
At the end of the movie, "Mrs. Doubtfire" gets her own TV show. This poor man is going to see her all over television (and maybe, tragically, on the side of his own bus), check the credits to find out her name, and realize that she's a dude. It's going to crush him, and it will be all Robin Williams's fault.422966Is this messed up?
Mrs. Doubtfire Is the Film's True AntagonistPhoto: 20th Century Fox
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.380962Is this messed up?
There Are No Consequences For Anyone's ActionsPhoto: 20th Century Fox
When was the last time you committed fraud, dressed up as a Scottish woman, violated a court order, screamed at a bunch of people, and tried to kill someone without anything happening to you? Probably never. One of the biggest problems with Mrs. Doubtfire's narrative is that there are no stakes. The audience is never worried about whether or not Daniel Hillard is going to win his family back because it doesn't matter what he does - he's going to have his cake and eat it too. Even if someone is angry with Hillard in one scene, they're fine with him by the next time they appear onscreen. Either everyone who appears in this movie is a nihilist or there was no oversight during the screenwriting process.311819Is this messed up?
Robin Williams Is Objectively A Horrible FatherPhoto: 20th Century Fox
Daniel Hillard has all of the tools to be a great father. He has a cool job in the film industry, he's funny, and he's down to help out with the homework. But he uses all of those talents to make his kids feel terrible. Rather than bring them into his life, he shuts them out until he realizes that they're mad at them and then he plans a grand gesture in order to win them back. It's bipolar parenting at its worst, and even if having a petting zoo at your house for a birthday party seems like a good idea in the moment, if it's just done to smooth over some earlier slight, it's only going to make things worse in the long run.243723Is this messed up?