Based on a novel by Anne Fine and directed by Home Alone’s Chris Columbus, Mrs Doubtfire is really a showcase for Robin Williams’s fast and furious comic talents. Here he stars as Daniel Hillard, a divorced dad who doesn’t see as much of his kids as he would like, and who has a strained relationship with his ex-wife, Miranda (Field). So when he hears she is looking for a nanny to take care of the children while she’s at work, he does what any dad would do… gets his make-up artist brother (Harvey Fierstein) to design a prosthetic female face, then grabs some thick tights, a grey wig and a frumpy dress and transforms himself into Mrs Doubtfire, a loveable Scottish nanny, whom Miranda naturally hires.
Williams sat in the make-up chair for over four hours each day to be transformed into Mrs Doubtfire, but that doesn’t seem to have dampened his comic spirit, as he operates on full throttle throughout this comedy. A huge success when it was released, this does have some slow-moving sections and isn’t on a comic par with the more grown-up Tootsie (in which Dustin Hoffman was the man in drag), but it’s amusing enough and should delight kids and Williams fans.
Is Mrs Doubtfire suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...