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Mrs. Doubtfire Sequel

Posted: April 17, 2014 22:39:53 • 558 words

I habitually avoid all "news" related to celebrities, Hollywood, or pop culture, but I'm making an exception here: Mrs. Doubtfire sequel. To put it simply, I'm not holding my breath for it to even be completed, or for it to be worth watching if it miraculously gets any sort of release.

The original film was standalone, and left no real openings for a sequel in its story; it's like trying to write a sequel to Forrest Gump. With any story that can be extended into a sequel, there's something left unresolved in the first installment (any franchise-intended film), or the writing leaves room for more stories with the same characters (Brady Bunch movies), or room for more related stories/characters within the same universe (Star Trek). None of these things are true of Mrs. Doubtfire. The entire story was about one specific conflict and struggle of one family, all of which were resolved in a tidy and heartwarming way. So, the only ways to create a sequel to something like this are the Terrible Disney Sequel stories: "Same story all over again with the first movie's children", "same characters learning the same lesson all over again", or "completely unrelated story that should have been given its own cast".

Complicating this further is the fact that the original was made over 20 years ago. While there's no rule that says movie time progressions must follow the real world, you can't ignore the reality that actors get older. Especially child actors, who were vitally important to the first film, and are now in their 20s/30s. This eliminates a LOT of potential storylines, leaving...what? Same story all over again with Mrs. Doubtfire's grandchildren?

I'm not a screenwriter, but I do know a thing or two about good writing, and I did study film for a little while (enough to understand the art of cinema and be a bit pretentious, but not enough to develop it into a true artistic skill). I won't discount the possibility that they could make this work, but I really don't see it happening. I'd be surprised if this even goes into full production.

On a personal note, I also don't see a way for this sequel to exist without being grossly offensive. Much of the original was relatively well-written, with a very touching story and message, and I grudgingly give it a pass for being produced in 1993, not the most enlightened time for LGBT issues. However, a large chunk of the first film's humor is of the "lol it's a guy in a dress" variety, which is really hurtful and degrading, and never quite sat well with me even long before I knew why. It was never intended to portray an actual trans person, just a normal guy playing a character, and that's fine, but it's almost impossible to make that into a comedy without dipping into the bucket of offensive tropes. The original could have been a straight-faced adult drama without being offensive, but not a comedy.

So, yeah, I don't anticipate this will ever get far enough into production to be more than just a way to get Robin Williams into headlines for a little while. If it does get a release, the odds of it being a film worth watching are slim to none. And that's all I have to say about that.