In 1993, “Mrs. Doubtfire” served as the perfect mix for a blockbuster, combining Robin Williams’ manic comedy with a “Tootsie”-like premise and fun trailers that had the comedian dancing around the house to “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” But some newly-unearthed scenes show an emotional subtext that may have you looking at Williams’ hit through a different lens.
Directed by crowd-pleasing filmmaker Chris Columbus (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”), the hit film always had a heart-tugging core message about a ne’er-do-well dad trying to navigate a messy divorce while remaining in the lives of his children. In these deleted scenes, “Doubtfire” viewers would have learned even more — perhaps, some would say, too much — about Williams’ Daniel Hillard character.
In one of them, Hillard arrives late for his daughter Lydia’s (Lisa Jakub) spelling bee, and ends up arguing with her mother (Sally Field) in front of the whole school — causing her to misspell a word. Later, the daughter asks, “Why can’t you and mom just pretend to be happy? Then we’d still be a family.”
In another scene, Field’s character confronts the recently-revealed Mrs. Doubtfire, as the children listen to them screaming at each other. The scenes are all the more powerful, since there’s a good chance it might be the first time you’ve looked at “Doubtfire” since Williams’ August 2014 death.
Get your tissues ready before you push play — to some, these scenes might have made the movie better. But since so many folks still care about “Mrs. Doubtfire” more than 20 years after its release, maybe the film is perfect just the way it is.