Williams was already a hit with children of the ’70s for his portrayal of Mork, but his portrayal of a spunky English nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire” earned him an entirely new generation of fans. Along with his brilliant portrayal of Genie in “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” is undoubtedly one of Williams’ best comedic performances.
The actor’s comedic spark and intoxicating energy shine through almost every scene, whether he’s doing his best impression of a hotdog or wearing a cake face mask. Williams’ performance of the loveable and chaotic Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire can almost make you forget that you’re watching a movie about a crumbling family. Bringing a heavy topic like divorce into a comedy can be difficult because if the focus is on the dissolution of the family, it can be difficult to watch, but if the focus is on the comedy, it will not do justice to such a heavy subject. To work properly, the film has to achieve a delicate balance between comedy and reality.
According to Itzkoff, director Christopher Columbus struggled to achieve this balance within the script, even though he knew the problem. The director admitted, “The biggest problem was Daniel Hillard and Miranda got back together at the end of the picture.” Of course they did. Despite its melancholy focus on divorce, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is a comedy, so it has to have a happy ending, right? At least, that’s what the studio executives thought, but Williams agreed with Columbus, and fought for a more realistic ending for the movie.