If you thought making a movie was hard, try making a classic like Mrs. Doubtfire, which deftly dances between the comedic and dramatic halves of the story involving divorce, disguise, and deception. While the film was a comedic masterpiece that could be serious when it best served its purpose, these new deleted scenes show just how much more serious it could have been. Prepare some tissues and watch them below.
YouTuber Matthew Keys shared two scenes from the extensive roster of deleted and alternate scenes that Mrs. Doubtfire has included in its home video releases. About 30 minutes in total was restored in the special features for the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film, and both scenes selected flesh out the subplot of discontent between Robin Williams' Daniel and Sally Field's Miranda through the lens of their oldest daughter, Lydia, played by Lisa Jakub. While these scenes are indeed public knowledge, it's knowledge that not too many people have delved into, until now.
The first scene, which takes place after the reveal that Mrs. Doubtfire turned out to be their father, shows a family fight between Daniel and Miranda breaking out in the middle of Lydia's spelling bee. This in turn causes Lydia to either lose or throw the spelling bee, as the events could be taken either way when watching the footage. All is made better though, as father and daughter have an emotional moment that leads from upset into smiles. The second scene isn't as uplifting though, as it shows a very emotionally charged argument that eventually spills out into the entire family, with Lydia eventually shutting down the argument by decrying that she hates them both.
Both scenes show only a fraction of what the rest of the deleted, extended, and alternate scenes of Mrs. Doubtfire entail, and for the most part, those scenes show the more serious side of the Chris Columbus film. No other aspect showcases the more morose path the film could have taken than the effects of the divorce shown throughout most of scenes that were cut. If either of these scenes were included in the final cut, the film would have gained some dramatic weight, but it would have done so at the expense of the film's comedic elements. This may have worked better if the film was released in a more contemporary time frame, but in 1993 a film like Mrs. Doubtfire was easier to sell as a comedy, rather than a straight drama or dramedy blend.
In its final form, Mrs. Doubtfire is one of Robin Williams' finest films, as well as one of the best films in the directorial canon of Chris Columbus. While there's a chance that the film could have still worked with the more serious elements added back in, the momentum of the film would have undoubtedly suffered, and we'd be talking about the underrated gem Mrs. Doubtfire, instead of the blockbuster behemoth / comedy classic Mrs. Doubtfire. It makes for an interesting debate, but it's a safe bet that creating the latter film is ultimately the better choice in the long run.
You can see for yourself how the rest of the scenes play out, and whether the choice to delete them was a wise one or not, if you have a copy of Mrs. Doubtfire on DVD or Blu-ray.