OCMC: Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire in Mrs. Doubtfire
We have reached the end of the voyage, dear friends. Our beloved Captain is due back on shore tomorrow, where he shall drop anchor and bid adieu to us after one fine week of sailing the high seas. I guess I better drop the metaphor before it gets even more confusing. Basically, now that the week where it’s been acceptable for me to say “Oh captain my captain” to pretty much everything is coming to a close, I’m feeling quite bittersweet about the whole thing.
I’ve really enjoyed going back and revisiting each of these moments (and many others) this week. I hope you all have as well, even though at times I’ve felt as if this OCMC tribute has been a little redundant. Not necessarily pointless, but it wasn’t as if we needed any more reminding of the man’s talents given the outpouring of support and love for the man over the last fortnight. Hopefully I haven’t so much sold you on anything as much as I’ve reminded people of why I, like millions of other fans, couldn’t help myself in verbalizing the pain I felt for his loss. It only seemed natural to suspend activities on DSB for one week and properly tip my hat to a performer I’ve idolized for awhile. Yes that’s right — idolized. (I promised myself a while ago that would be a word I’d never use. . .but, well. . .ehem.)
There are few characters created that become so successful, so endearing to audiences as to become greater than the film itself. In some instances they become standards to which other characters in said genre might be measured. I believe today’s entry more than qualifies.
Guys and gals I’d like you to (re)acquaint yourselves with Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, a creation that could only have been Robin’s. A tough nanny with high standards of cleanliness and organization and a penchant for grooming well-behaved, cooperative children, she was essentially Mary Poppins with a Scottish accent and a beard. (Well, the beard’s implied. We knew she was a man, either way.) The character’s great, but the situation is what really projected Williams’ multi-tasking talents: Mrs. Doubtfire was actually the brilliant brain-nanny of desperate but talented voice actor Daniel Hillard who, after royally fumbling his marriage with Miranda (Sally Field), planned on remaining in his children’s lives in whatever capacity he may be able. He engineers a new character to look after the three tykes as Miranda is seemingly unable to do quality parenting of her own (oops, too harsh?) and could use the help. When the funny-talking, funny-looking she-male inadvertently impinges upon his ability to function in his own world, time will only tell before the cracks begin to show. And then. . .then what happens?
It may be worth mentioning that this is my very favorite role Robin Williams has played. His nanny is pure magic.
Quoted: “Carpe dentum. Seize the teeth!”