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You can credit Mrs. Doubtfire for being fun family entertainment and giving kids from broken homes a warm (albeit wacky) representation of a family like theirs. And now you can credit it with being a literal life-saver. KABC shared this news report of seven-year-old Oregon native Amira Thorton, who saved her mother from choking to death by using the Heimlech maneuver. Amira told the press her grandfather had taught her about the life-saving gesture, but that it was seeing it performed by Mrs. Doubtfire in the 1993 comedy that really made it sink in.
As recreated in the clip above, Amira was watching television in the living room, when she heard her mom making strange sounds from the kitchen. Mom Jennifer was choking on a bit of sausage, and panicked, being unable to speak or cry out for help. Her daughter recognized she was choking though, and lept into action a la Robin Williams. "I picked her up three times," Amira explained, "She spit the sausage out."
Here's the Mrs. Doubtfire scene in full:
This is just one of several acts of real life heroics mimicking the movies. Admittedly, most of the ones we've heard about lately are inspired by superheroes, not men in drag. Back in September, there was the wonderful story about how two men whose day job is dressing up as Batman and Captain America for kid events came to the rescue of a house cat when a nearby building was on fire. Last spring, there was a more old-school Batman, who collared a criminal in the UK. Then there was the self-styled vigilante who seemed to take a cue from Kick-Ass to secure his city streets. But he just ended up freaking out his neighbors.
And then of course there's BatKid, who took over the internet this weekend as he saved San Francisco from such vile villains as The Riddler, The Penguin, and of course the Joker. But Batkid wasn't the only hero in that story. There were 13,000 "conspiracy of kindness" volunteers who turned out in droves to make this little cancer survivor's dream a fantastic reality.
While movies are endlessly put in the line of fire when talking heads need someone to blame for such heinous acts as public shootings or they need a political football to play with, it's heart-warming to see stories where movies do inspire something positive and life-affirming. Because of course they do. It's just not as sensational to say so.