Directed by Chris Columbus and starring Robin Williams, the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire is the comically touching tale of an out-of-work actor named Daniel Hillard who is caught in the whirlwind of an ugly divorce. His wife, workaholic decorator Miranda Hillard, is fed up with their frequent and constant disagreement; she sees their marriage as a hopeless cause and wants to call it quits. In the divorce proceedings that follow, Miranda is awarded full custody of their three children until Daniel is able to obtain suitable employment and housing of his own. Daniel adores his children deeply, and cannot bear the thought of not being able to see them every day of the week. Out of desperation, he masquerades as an aging English nanny, hoping to be hired by Mrs. Hillard so that he can spend more time with his kids. During his time in the Hillard house over the following months, Daniel, a.k.a. “Euphegenia Doubtfire,” learns many valuable lessons on parenting, love, understanding, and the meaning of divorce from the other side of the story (Williams). Despite it’s PG-13 rating, there is content in the “family friendly” Mrs. Doubtfire that may not be, in the eyes of censorship advocates, entirely appropriate for a younger audience.
Aside from the obvious issue of cross-dressing, the portrayal of Daniel’s older brother, a homosexual beautician, would be an example of such “unnecessary inappropriateness.” In the film, brother Frank, together with his partner Jack, run a small hair and cosmetics business together in the flat above their apartment. Even in the
1990s, when the film was produced, the idea of alternative sexuality carried a still somewhat negative connotation in society, especially within many conservative “family” Christian organizations, such as Focus on the Family and the Traditional Values Coalition (Ravitch). These organizations would likely argue that, according to the Holy Bible, homosexuality is an immoral behavior and sin and should not be practiced or encouraged, but condoned. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, the Apostle Paul states, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (Bible). Homosexuality is deemed regressive for spiritual development.
Then comes the issue of “cross-dressing.” Throughout the entirety of the movie, Daniel dresses as the female, aging nanny so that he can see his children. In order to look like a woman, Frank and Jack outfit Daniel in not only dress and makeup, but latex,...