Robin Williams plays Daniel, a San Francisco actor who loses his job doing voiceovers when he refuses to go along with a cigarette scene in a cartoon for kids. Then he returns home and throws a wild birthday party for one of his three children. His wife Miranda can't believe the destruction caused by having a petting zoo both inside and outside their house. She declares that she's had it with his childish and irresponsible ways.
In divorce court, the judge refuses Daniel's plea for custody of the children and severely limits his visitation rights. When he learns that Miranda is looking for a nanny, Daniel consults with his brother, a make-up artist, and presto with the help of a wig, a latex face, and body padding, he is transformed into Mrs. Doubtfire, a 60-year-old English nanny. His wife is astonished by this woman's efficiency in taking care of the kids and performing minor housekeeping chores.
Robin Williams has a ball playing Daniel and the philosophical Mrs. Doubtfire. Director Chris Columbus makes the most of his extraordinary comic talents The actor is very funny dancing with a vacuum cleaner, fending off an amorous bus driver, and surprising a purse snatcher on the street.
In this era of fathers who have no intimacy with their kids and deadbeat dads who refuse to contribute to the support of their offspring, it is refreshing to see a film about a dad who will do anything to be with his three children. Daniel's housekeeping and child care experiences transform him into a better father. Would that more men would take the time to pursue this course of informal education.