Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mrs. Doubtfire

Last night I watched the movie Mrs. Doubtfire on TV. I had never seen it before, but it turned out to be a really good movie.

The premise of the film is that Robin Williams plays a man who, during a bitter custody dispute with his wife, impersonates a sixty-year-old (female) nanny in order to spend more time with his three children. It has the obligatory manic comedic moments in the Robin Williams style, but there is a serious message underneath.

I enjoyed the movie, but I did feel some pain while watching it. I could see how much Robin Williams' character loved his kids, and how much it hurt for him to be forced apart from them. I think I would do just about anything to avoid being separated from Vinny like that. Also, the divorce drama reminded me of my own parents' divorce not six years ago. The root cause of breakdown of their relationship was very similar to what happened in my parents' case, I think. One spouse failed to communicate their feelings to the other, until the resentment had piled so high that it was too late.

That's why communication is key in a relationship. If you can't communicate with your partner in life, then you'd better figure out how to do so if you expect to stay together. Counseling can help, as long as you haven't yet reached that point of no return, where you're so hurt and angry that you no longer want to even try.

I thought the movie ended on a positive note for kids watching whose parents might have divorced. Although Mrs. Doubtfire does try to sabotage his ex-wife's new relationship, in the end they don't get back together, and the movie ends with Mrs. Doubtfire on her new show explaining that there are many different types of family arrangements, they're all okay, and that just because your parents may not get along anymore, it is not your fault. I liked the fact that it ended that way. As Jeff said, if they'd gotten back together at the end, the movie would have been a fantasy, not a comedy!

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