Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a father of three children, who is still a child himself. His serious, career minded wife (Sally Field), just doesn't seem to do things with enough vigour, so Daniel resorts to the unusual, like renting zoos for his child's birthday party, and having the animals delivered.
His wife soon asks for a divorce, and Daniel finds himself only able to see his children a few hours a week. Out of desperation, he applies for a job as a housekeeper . . . in his own house. Disguised as an elderly lady, he fools his wife and children into hiring who they think is Mrs. Doubtfire. Soon Daniel is the after school parent the children should have had all along, but the gig is soon up when his son walks in on him in the bathroom.
This film is very funny, offering William's usual routine of impersonations and jokes. Like most movies Williams is involved in, this one is engineered to give him centre stage, with the rest of the cast revolving around his presence. However, comedy is again mixed with many sexual jokes and remarks, all of them unnecessary.
At one point Williams, in the role of Doubtfire, tries his best to dissuade the man (Pierce Brosnan) who is after his wife. He gives details of her supposed sexual perversions and diseases, hoping the guy will reconsider the relationship. Considering the movie's broad family marketing target, I found this scene too descriptive.
The movie tries to show how Daniel's love for his children can help overcome the problems of marriage. However, it seems confusing that his actions are never aimed at his wife, although he continually frets over her seeing another man. In the inconclusive ending, the viewer is still left wondering about his feelings for his wife, preventing the message the movie is trying to make from coming across clearly.