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Mrs. Doubtfire (SE)
DVD disk
Apr 1, 2008 By: Quigles
Mrs. Doubtfire (SE) order
Director:
Chris Columbus

Actors:
Robin Williams
Sally Field
Pierce Brosnan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An actor dresses himself as an old nanny in hopes of spending more time with his kids.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
MRS. DOUBTFIRE may seem like just a silly comedy, but it actually explores a very interesting and necessary topic: how far would you go to be with the ones you love?

No, I'm lying. It is just a silly comedy—a total excuse to put Robin Williams in absurd situations and to inject every other scene with director Chris Columbus' excessive schmaltz. And honestly, it's better off for it. The film manages to balance the obvious slapstick effect of putting Williams in drag without falling prey to the type of obnoxiously juvenile gags so prominently seen in more recent efforts like BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE.

As long as you can handle melodrama, the film's also rather sweet. It's obvious the story was crafted strictly to support the premise (I bet the original pitch consisted of only two things: "Robin Williams" and "60-year-old lady"), but the filmmakers did a surprisingly decent job making the whole picture flow nicely, and it never seems like there's any rush to shovel forth the over-the-top gags. This is especially beneficial considering MRS. DOUBTFIRE works a lot better when it allows Williams to just make sly and borderline crude quips in-between all the set pieces. Other big comedic sequences, such as the finale where Williams needs to meet at the restaurant as two different people, are far too sitcom-ish to fully enjoy. Even so, it's at least nice to watch a goofy comedy (however old it may be) that's been treated with enough care to avoid being dumber than it has to be.
THE EXTRAS
This 2-Disc set is absolutely loaded with content, though much of it is old material. It's also missing the original commentary from director Chris Columbus.

There are a lot of special features to cover here, so I'm going to be splitting the ones on "Disc 2" into the sections they're available in instead of each individually.

Before we get started though, it's worth mentioning that the DVD comes with a FREE MOVIE TICKET (up to $7.50) to see HORTON HEARS A WHO. The pass expires May 12, 2008, and is only valid in the U.S.

DISC 1

Deleted Scenes (32:04): There are 18, some of which are merely extended, and all of which are generally decent.

Alternate Scenes (4:29): Exactly what it sounds like.

DISC 2

Production Office: Included here are: "From Man to Mrs: The Evolution of Mrs. Doubtfire" (26:30), "Aging Gracefully: A Look Back at 'Mrs. Doubtfire'" (13:41), and a photo gallery. The featurettes are fairly interesting, including plenty of old interviews, make-up tests, etc.

Animation Studio: Included here are: "A Conversation with Legendary Animator Chuck Jones" (4:15), which is a wonderful extra, and then multiple looks at the film's opening animated sequence in various forms, from its original pencil test (2:20) to its final version (5:10) to an additional final version with alternate backgrounds (5:50).

Make-Up Department: Included here are: "Make-Up Application with Ve Neill" (4:05), and a photo gallery.

Stage A: Included here is: "The Improvisation of Mrs. Doubtfire" (36:53), which fans of Robin Williams will undoubtedly love.

Publicity Department: Included here are: "Original 1993 Featurette" (5:25), "Meet Mrs. Doubtfire" (5:20), 3 theatrical trailers, 2 TV spots, and a poster/photo gallery.

Miscellaneous: The DVD also holds an 8-page insert/booklet with various info regarding the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
MRS. DOUBTFIRE doesn't qualify as a classic by any means, but considering Robin Williams' recent track record, it's refreshing to be reminded of why people found him funny to begin with.
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