YMMV / Mrs. Doubtfire

  • Adaptation Displacement: Of the British young adult book Madame Doubtfire (Or Alias Madame Doubtfire in the US.). Notable differences include:
    • The parents are already divorced at the start of the story.
    • Miranda is a much meaner, bitchier character. Daniel is no saint either, though, as he fantasizes about ways to kill her...in front of the kids.
    • Daniel has a passion for gardening. In the end he becomes not the host of a kid's show but Miranda's new gardener.
    • All three kids see through the Mrs. Doubtfire disguise, even Christopher, though it takes him a little longer.
    • Mrs. Doubtfire doesn't wear a latex mask and padding. She wears a turban. This is apparently enough to fool Miranda.
    • Rather than learn housekeeping skills, Daniel forces the children to clean the house by threatening how they'll never see him again if he's found out.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Daniel Hillard — loving father who desperately wants to raise his kids, or creepily obsessed stalker?
    • Even lampshaded a bit in-movie, both by Daniel himself ("What am I doing here? This is beyond obsession.") and by the judge, once the gig is up, as the reason for ordering supervision during Daniel's time with the kids.
      • In some ways, this also applies to Miranda. Is she a mature woman who has put up with Daniel's antics over the years and has finally reached her breaking point, or is she a cold detached woman more interested in her career than her family? Her apparent mooning over her old flame prior to telling Daniel it's over doesn't help her cause any.
      • Indeed, leading to wondering over the interpretation of whether she's sincerely at the end of her rope with a situation that's bad for her and her children, or just looking for an excuse to dump her current husband for her more attractive, more successful, and less silly ex?
  • Broken Base: Daniel vs Miranda. Either this movie is about an immature Manchild losing his kids to a responsible wife who can't put up with him anymore, or it's a loving father having his kids taken from him by an uptight workaholic. The film itself even straddles this line with the children; they don't get along with Miranda nearly as well as they do with Daniel and are upset when she comes to pick them up from his place, but on the flipside they're aware that Daniel has to grow up.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Sorry kids, but sometimes it really is best that your parents get (and remain) divorced. People who are too different from one another simply can't function together, and need to be apart in order to be the parents that you need in your life.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Daniel quits a kid's cartoon because it doesn't condemn smoking harshly enough for his liking. When you see how devoted he is to his children, it makes him look a lot more responsible as a parent.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Daniel gets his titular alias from a newspaper headline saying "Police Doubt Fire Was Accidental". In January 2015, the house used for the Hillard home got attacked by an arsonist. After Williams' death, the house was serving as an impromptu memorial as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: It's harder to see the scenes with Daniel talking about how obsessed he is over his family after watching him as Sy in One Hour Photo...
    • Daniel says he can't live without his kids, just like he can't live without air. Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself.
    • Mrs. Doubtfire's last heartfelt sign off at the end of the film is bittersweet enough; it's that much sadder now that the actor who brought her to life has passed on, making her last heard goodbye at the end that much more final.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: After Robin Williams' death, Mara Wilson paraphrased her most famous line from the film, saying of all the younger people who either worked with him or were fans "We're all his goddamn kids too."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Idiot Ball: Who leaves the door unlocked when they go pee? And who just barges into a closed bathroom door?
  • Informed Wrongness: While his wife does seem like an old "battle-axe", you'd be rather pissed too if there was a horse and a big mess in your house, especially regarding a party that you already disapproved of having in the first place.
  • Internet Backdraft: The "wars" between Daniel supporters and Miranda supporters have even reached this very wiki.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Daniel's predicament could have been avoided if he weren't so immature. Despite that, he does genuinely live for his children and it does seem unfair from his point of view that they'd be with their career-obsessed mother more than him.
  • Retroactive Recognition: For the twenty-somethings who grew up with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Oddly enough, people of the time thought of a similar cloak and dagger character "Hey, it's Remington Steele!"
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: This film, though hilarious, is one of the most realistic depictions of divorce in cinema (Kramer vs. Kramer is another possible member of this category). Daniel and Miranda are both presented as having valid reasons to separate (Miranda is frustrated by Daniel's chronic lack of work and carefree attitude, while Daniel is angered by her uptight nature and tendency to put her job first); we get to see both sides of the issue, which prevents the audience from making snap judgments. The end of the film becomes even more direct with this trope: Daniel and Miranda don't get back together,, and Mrs. Doubtfire, on her new TV show, explains that sometimes, divorce can be a good thing, especially if there are children involved (she implies that staying together for kids can actually be more damaging). Depicting divorce as a positive is unexpected, and the movie does drive it home repeatedly, but it's a message that needs to be shared, especially to children. In the same speech mentioned above, Mrs. Doubtfire also lists several non-traditional family patterns (foster parents, living with other relatives, etc.), and assures children that the names don't matter—family is about love. Subtle? No. Extremely important and valid? Yes.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Daniel and Miranda both get a dash of this thanks to the Broken Base.
    • If Daniel wasn't such an immature goofball who encourages his kids to act the same way, the entire movie never would have happened. The movie is largely about his Character Development, learning to be responsible and take care of himself living alone. If only he had made the effort to improve a few years before the divorce, he could have probably saved his marriage.
    • Miranda is an uptight workaholic who rarely spends time with the kids, who in return don't seem to like her very much. The main plot happens becauce after the divorce she admits she needs a housekeeper to look after the kids while she's working. Daniel offers to do it and the kids are fully on-board with this, but Miranda just says "I'll think about it" in a tone that even the five-year-old Natalie recognizes means she won't.
  • Values Dissonance: One of Daniel's personas in his invoked Terrible Interviewees Montage is a transsexual, and Miranda immediately hangs up in horror upon hearing it, which comes off as transphobic today. If they even attempted the setup today, the turnoff would likely be emphasized as the persona's extreme disassociation with males, instead of her background itself.
    • Similarly, the scene where the kids catch Daniel as Mrs. Doubtfire peeing standing up and freaking out, acting as if she is going to molest them. Logo actually bleeps Chris's use of the term "he-she" in this scene.
      • This could still be justified in that the youngest child is a five-year-old girl, and it's still frowned down upon to have men (and some women, but Double Standard) who isn't the father/grandfather/uncle (save some cases) be around a small girl unsupervised.
    • And the unseen social worker who monitors Daniel's visits after the deception is discovered, as he puts it, "like I'm some kind of a deviant".
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: And featuring Harvey Fierstein as Robin Williams' brother! Wait, what?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MrsDoubtfire