The great Robin Williams was at the top of his game in the ’90s, and the 1993 family classic Mrs. Doubtfire is Williams at his zany best as he plays Daniel Hillard, a man who, on a quest to be a better husband, father, and adult, dresses up like a British nanny so that he can see his kids more often. Along the way, he learns how to be kinder to his ex-wife (Sally Field), hold down a job, and cook hollandaise.
While, yes, Mrs. Doubtfire is Daniel in disguise, he’s awfully good at being the kindly Euphegenia, and you’ll find yourself wishing that you’d had a similar nanny while you were growing up (maybe without the trickery and latex, though). She might have even helped you do a meringue face mask.
“Sink the sub. Hide the weasel. Park the porpoise. A bit of the old Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horny, the Horizontal Mambo, hmm? The Bone Dancer, Rumpleforeskin, Baloney Bop, a bit of the old Cunning Linguistics?”
Ok, maybe the idea of an elderly British nanny spouting off dirty euphemisms might be a little horrifying, but it is also hilarious. If Mrs. Doubtfire was your nanny, you probably would have had the most creatively dirty mouth in your class. Sure, that may have gotten you sent to the principal’s office, but you would probably have the respect of your peers.
“It was a run-by fruiting!”
Even if the methods are unorthodox, Mrs. Doubtfire is pretty dedicated to the well-being of her family. Knowing that the bully who constantly hassled you was just one mean word away from a lime to the head would have been pretty comforting. Plus, you’d probably develop a pretty solid pitching arm for your softball league.
“Look at this! My first day as a woman and I’m getting hot flashes.”
Dressing up as Mrs. Doubtfire may have been extreme, but it does offer Daniel a heaping dose of perspective. Learning to understand other people is an all important lesson, and Mrs. Doubtfire is the perfect person to teach it. Who knew that a giant bodysuit could teach a little empathy?
“Dear Miranda, wake up and smell the coffee. Can’t you see the lust in that man’s eyes?”
It’s good to have someone who tells it like it is. Some say “c*ckblock,” but Mrs. Doubtfire would probably prefer “confidante” or “voice of reason.” When diving into a new relationship, especially after the breakup of a long term one, you should walk in with both eyes open. While he may have been trying to deter Miranda from moving on, it did make her a little more aware about her relationship with her new boyfriend, Stu (Pierce Brosnan).
“Carpe dentum. Seize the teeth.”
If you’re going to take care of a family, you’re going to have to let go of any sense of shame. You’re going to see some weird stuff, you’re going to do some weird stuff. That’s just the nature of the job. However, if you can keep a sense of humor about it, like the indefatigable Euphegenia Doubtfire, you can handle the hurdles and the loose dentures with aplomb.
“I admire that honesty, Natalie, that’s a noble quality. Never lose that, because it often disappears with age, or entering politics.”
Speaking your mind isn’t always encouraged when you’re a kid, so having a nanny who allows you to be yourself is a real boon. Growing up with someone who is always in your corner is a real gift.
“Well, they say a man who has to buy a big car like that is trying to compensate for smaller genitals.”
Sick burn, Mrs. Doubtfire. Way to keep the creeps at bay. Stu wasn’t even that bad in terms of movie boyfriends, but he definitely had a touch of the douche. Someone had to call him on his over-compensating, so Mrs. Doubtfire took on that mantle. Having someone vet your dates isn’t a bad thing, so having potentials pass the Mrs. Doubtfire Test could save you from some terrible dinners.
“I hope you bring cocktail sauce. She’s got the crabs, dear, and I don’t mean Dungeness.”
Ok. Yeah, this one is overstepping for sure. Still, a sense of humor is an admirable quality in a nanny, because laughter is such a unifier. However, maybe tone down the judgment a bit. Just a little bit. Letting people make their own mistakes is a critical part of growing as a person, but having Mrs. Doubtfire make you tea when you’re feeling down is a pretty good trade off.
“Oh, as I hold this cold meat, I’m reminded of Winston.”
If lunchmeat doesn’t remind you of lost love, are you even human?