August 17, 2016
Review #831: Mrs. Doubtfire.
Robin Williams (Daniel Hillard / Euphegenia Doubtfire), Sally Field (Miranda Hillard), Pierce Brosnan (Stuart Dunmeyer), Lisa Jakub (Lydia Hillard), Matthew Lawrence (Christopher Hillard), Mara Wilson (Natalie Hillard), Harvey Fierstein (Frank Hillard), Scott Capurro (Jack), and Robert Prosky (Jonathan Lundy) Directed by Chris Columbus (#038 - Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, #117 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, #118 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, #304 - Home Alone, and #310 - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)
Honestly, I hadn't seen this movie in years, in fact it might have been on a VHS, actually. It wasn't for lack of interest, it just never came to me. There are numerous movies about cross-dressing (#084 - Tootsie, #106 - Some Like It Hot, #637 - The Birdcage) along with numerous comedy-dramas, but Mrs. Doubtfire manages to be a fine movie that doesn't veer too much towards standardization due to the energy of its main lead. Williams, alongside some really exceptional (and award winning) makeup, manages to make the role his own, with these two characters being very distinct and interesting. He just weaves into these characters and voices well, though it almost gets a bit tiring near the end, but the dinner sequence is adequate. Field also does pretty well, managing to be likable in a role that could've turned out one dimensional or not as memorable, with her scenes with Williams being well handled. The kids don't have much screen time, but they're pretty okay. The rest of the cast do fine. The balance of comedy and drama is well enough, neither intruding too much on the other. At just over two hours it may be a bit too long, but Williams is enjoyable enough that it works. It's not too sentimental nor cynical, having a ending message (by Williams) that is pretty poignant. Does it always work? No, but it works just enough in part due to its main character(s) and a quirky charm.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.