Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire

Help Is on the Way Dear! ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Has Been Taking Care of Us for 30 Years


We all have those movies or shows that help us feel better when we aren’t doing well. For the last 30 years, Mrs. Doubtfire has been one of those movies.

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To understand the magic of Mrs. Doubtfire, you need to experience the film. Mrs. Doubtfire stars Robin Williams and Sally Field as a married couple, Daniel and Miranda, who have finally decided they’d be better apart. However, the divorce also changed the lives of their three children, Lydia (Lisa Jakub), Chris (Matthew Lawrence), and Nattie (Mara Wilson).

Since Miranda got the house and custodial custody of the children, Daniel must find a way to be in his kid’s lives. He’s a voice actor and is played by Williams, so of course the character’s solution is over the top. With the help of his brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein) and Frank’s partner Jack (Scott Capurro), Daniel—using undeniably excellent drag—transforms into an older British woman. As Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel can be the perfect housekeeper and stable force his children need.

We all need Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire epitomizes peak 1990s family entertainment. Although it was rated PG-13, the movie was just as popular among the elementary school crowd as it was with older people. Iconic comedian and actor Robin Williams had a way of transcending any rating constraints. Williams was magical in the role of Mrs. Doubtfire. He channeled his seemingly unlimited energy into bringing this woman to life.

Every interaction between Mrs. Doubtfire and Miranda’s new love interest (played by Pierce Brosnan) is hilarious. This movie is so 1990s that it even has a musical montage of Mrs. Doubtfire getting things done set to an Aerosmith song. That scene where Daniel puts his face in the cake and pops out of the fridge, yelling “Hello!” is one of the funniest moments in cinematic history.

Re-watching the movie recently sparked all the joy it did for me as a kid. Some of the jokes haven’t aged well, but overall, it’s still wonderful. The comedy parts of the film mix well to balance out the heavier emotional parts of the story. All the flare of Mrs. Doubtfire aside, the story boils down to a man figuring out how to be a good father to his children. When he donned the Mrs. Doubtfire persona, it helped him process his feelings and understand what his children needed. Seeing them from a different perspective, without his ego, he became the man his kids deserved. That’s what is so endearing about the movie. In the end, we should all remember that good drag can heal people.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.