Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire; Comedy, USA, 1993; D: Chris Columbus, S: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, Mara Wilson, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein, Polly Holliday

San Francisco. Daniel is an unemployed voice actor who is saddened when his wife Miranda divorces him and on the court he only gets to see his three children; Lydia, Chris and Natalie, only once a week. In order to spend more time with the kids, Daniel thinks of an unusual plan: his brother will use all his make up skill to mask him as a middle aged woman while he will introduce himself as Mrs. Doubtfire and get a job as a nanny in Miranda's house to watch after kids. And he succeeds. The kids get quite fond of Mrs. Doubtfire with time, but then they discover the truth. During a diner with Miranda's new lover, Stuart, everyone discovers Daniel's secret.

Popular "Mrs. Doubtfire" is a likeable transgender comedy in which director Chris Columbus sufficiently mixes family comedy with emotions, while Robin Williams delivered one of thr best performances of his career in his double role as Daniel and Mrs. Doubtfire - especially in 'her' amazing voice transformation, while despite the flatness of humor some of the gags still seem funny, like the one where Mrs. Doubtfire leans towards the stove not noticing his fake breasts were set on fire or when he looses his false teeth in the glass of champaign and (autoironically) adds: "Carpe dentum". Basically, most of the gags are based on the the man's misadventures in playing a woman's role, and the story is funny, but most of it's gags and male-female observations are directly borrowed from "Tootsie's" repertoire, and thus don't seem original. Williams as best actor and the film as best motion picture - musical or comedy both won a Golden Globe, but rather unjustifiably: with such an approach in which forced messages, pathetic touch, uneven subplot in which Pierce Brosnan's character was degraded into a bad guy and humiliated by Mrs. Doubtfire (there were such stupid lines like the one where 'she' says that his Mercedes "compensates for his genitals") and inappropriately grotesque gags towards the slightly annoying ending overshadow the first charming impression, thus it's obvious the Golden Globe for best comedy in 1993 should have went to the jewel of comedy, Ramis' "Groundhog Day".


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