On the TV in the background is the ending of “Mrs. Doubtfire”, the bestselling cross-dressing movie of all time and beloved by millions.
Well, supposedly. I’d imagine it’s loved the most by people who have gotten divorced and the children they leave behind in broken homes looking desperately for a reason not to blame themselves.
The mother in the movie ends up looking particularly awful. At the beginning of the film, the straw that breaks her back is the insane birthday party Robin Williams is having for his children. She needs to break it up, which makes her look like “The bad guy” one too many times. Funny, I hear that complaint from wives in a lot of places. Most don’t throw their husbands out.
Robin Williams heartbreakingly claims he’ll get counseling, but she won’t hear it. He says it in a way that makes it clear that it was never attempted at any point of the marriage. They get married and raise children for over a decade, but apparently it’s not worth counseling to try and fix it. “Looking Like The Bad Guy” is too awful a burden to bear.
Now Robin Williams needs to prove to a judge, not that he is able to raise the children himself, but that he can keep them in his house sometimes; this is something that will take him months. In the meantime he isn’t even allowed to see them, leading to the conceit of the film where he dresses up as their nanny in order to be near them.
Let’s skip to the end of the film. The middle is wacky and all, Robin Williams plays a shockingly convincing old woman, and the other characters do nothing interesting. Robin Williams has been found out. He’s in front of a judge, who informs him that thanks to the Doubtfire stunt, he is no longer allowed to see his children except for once a week with a supervisor. This despite the fact that even when he was “unstable” or whatever he never did anything at all to harm his children. His wife looks absolutely horrified at the judge’s decision, but says nothing; she knows it’s a bad decision, but she doesn’t say anything.
Fast forward to a later conversation where she speaks with Robin Williams’ character, who stars in a children’s show. He rightly calls her out on her not saying anything when it was obvious she knew the decision was bad. Her response? She was angry! He HURT her!
Do you get that? He “hurt her”, so she is justified in harming both him and, more importantly, their children, something it was very clear she knew at the time, but did nothing to change out of, apparently, pure spite.
But don’t worry! She has pity on them and permits Robin Williams to see them when he wants to. Robin Williams, of course, thanks her for taking pity and not using her godlike powers to ruin the lives of her family, after several months of spite-induced torture.
The movie ends with Robin Williams talking about how sometimes it’s better for the whole family if mommy and daddy don’t live with each other. Apparently this was added to make actual divorced people feel less guilty after watching divorce wreak a path of destruction throughout the film, where the parties harmed the most are the ones the most innocent. Can’t have divorced people thinking they might have made a mistake, after all.
The end. What a beloved family classic!