The early 1990’s film, Mrs. Doubtfire, captures the drama of a rocky marriage with the comedic element of impersonation. When first viewing the film, one may consider it a drama/comedy, but upon taking a closer look, one discovers evidence that the film is a subgroup of the Romantic Comedy genre. The film can be viewed as a divorce romantic comedy, in which going through or having had a divorce helps the characters to grow individually, helping them to appreciate their partner more and helping the partner appreciate them more. In Mrs. Doubtfire, the wife (Sally Field), proposes the break up of the marriage. She feels like she does not have support from her husband in taking care of the cleaning, cooking and the kids. The husband (Robin Williams), is out of a job and, missing his kids, impersonates a British nanny who is hired by Field’s character. Williams get to be with his kids and learns from his wife what she always wanted from him. William’s acting ability speak for itself as he transforms time and time again between Mrs. Doubtfire and dad. We get to experience the change Williams is able to bring to the screen in voice and body that makes audiences forget that Mrs. Doubtfire and the children’s dad is the same person. The dialogue in the film is able to make the most dramatic of moments humorous and the most humorous of moments dramatic, keeping the viewer engaged throughout.
The film captures the idea of “remarriage”, written extensively about by Stanley Cavell. Over time, I have interpreted “remarriage” as a couple who has been in a relationship with one another before, we know that they love each other and are “meant to be”, but in the present time, we do not know why they are meant to be or how they will realize they are. The film Crazy, Stupid, Love also focuses around a remarriage plot within the sub genre of divorce romantic comedy. Steve Carell and Julianne Moore’s character’s are going to get divorced, but each, throughout the film, grows to have new personality characteristics and traits that helps them to see that they do not want a divorce, but rather each other. Mrs.Doubtfire is similar to that film because both members of the relationship change, resulting in the the partner liking the other better for their new efforts and traits. The main difference in films is the of ambiguity in Mrs.Doubtfire of whether the main couple will get back together again. Mrs. Doubtfire is a critically acclaimed piece, but not for it’s ability to reinterpret and refreshed the romantic comedy genre. The next time you’re at home on a Saturday night and watch the film, you can tell your coworkers on Monday you watched a Rom Com over the weekend.