Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 29, 2022

Recently, there have been talks that there will be a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel, and that Robin Williams is on board.  The film was originally released in 1993, so it is the perfect mixture of being a part of a lot of our childhoods, and far enough out of our minds that it seems like a new—or good—idea.  We are the demographic that studios want to reach, and a lot of us grew up with this movie and hold it near to our hearts.

Mrs. Doubtfire had a very significant impact on me as a kid. It was a story about a man who would do anything to be close with his kids. It had the simple message that love will prevail.  I sympathized for both parents, but sided with Daniel, Robin Williams' character, because I don't know what I would do without seeing my dad all the time. I had a huge crush on Matthew Lawrence and wished I was a child star like Mara Wilson.

But news of the upcoming sequel, of course, introduces the exhausted topic that Hollywood is terrified of things that may not workso it makes sequels and sequels for days. Studios would much rather pin Robin Williams down for a sequel for a movie that did very well in the 1990s than to have him in an extremely unique movie that has never been done before and therefore could be a flop at the box office.  This has to tell us something about our society.  If there is uncertainty about a project, major film studios will be incredibly trigger-shy, making it so that so many films with potential are never given a chance, and we miss out on what could be amazing films.

Because there is no question that the original Mrs. Doubtfire was a hit, people will expect that this sequel will do it justice. It better be just as charming and sweet.  These are characters that people care about, and we want to know what happened to them during the past 21 years.

One question to ask is, what does this mean for Robin Williams and the rest of the cast? Returning to an old project like this is usually not the main goal of a major movie star (one recent exception is how adorably excited Kristen Bell was to make the Veronica Mars movie).  According to CNN, the plan is to reunite the original cast, along with director Chris Columbus.  I'm sure the cast of Mrs. Doubtfire would be on board for the sake of nostalgia and, for some, being in the spotlight again.

I would usually agree with the majority of people on this topic, that making a sequel is just the easy way out. As Schmidt from New Girl would say, “The economy stinks, bees are dying, movies are pretty much all sequels now.” But I have to feel a bit different about Mrs. Doubtfire. I have high hopes for this project, along with Girl Meets World—which is a totally different conversation.

Do us and our childhoods proud, Hollywood.

 

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