Mrs. Doubtfire - did Robin Williams commit a crime?

I watched Mrs. Doubtfire again last night (you may now mock me for having thoroughly enjoyed it) and the following question came to me:

After he is exposed, Robin Williams’ character doesn’t really suffer any consequences other than the family judge saying his lifestyle was “highly unorthodox”. Is this just Hollywood license, or did he really not break any laws in his performance as Mrs. Doubtfire?

Against whom would he have committed any crime? IIRC, most of the crimes I can think of would’ve been against his wife, and I doubt she’d be inclined to press charges, given her children, apparent personality, and events of the film.

If hammy acting is a crime, then Robin Williams is a recidivist.

This was a woman who did her best to make sure her kids spent as little time with her father as possible. Not because he was evil but because he was immature. You’d think she’d try to throw the book at him and prevent him from ever seeing his kids again.

At the very least I would say fraud and possibly forgery. He presented himself as another person, and (unless his wife was employing him under the table (another crime), he filled out his W-4s as Mrs Doubtfire.

She did. The judge essentially banned him from seeing the kids again, and his ex-wife went along with it to punish him. It wasn’t till the very end of the movie that she “forgave” him and let him be the after school guardian again.

She also hired a nanny/housekeeper without bothering to do a background check, check references, or ask to see ID. She’s pretty far from mother-of-the-year material.

I’m willing to file that under “poetic license”. If she had done those things, there wouldn’t be a movie. I just have a hard time believing that there were no criminal laws broken. Pretending to be someone you’re not in order to gain access to someone else’s home (who specifically doesn’t want you there) seems… off somehow.

BTW, has everybody seen the alternative trailer to Mrs. Doubtfire? It casts a different light on the events of the film…

IANAL, but… “fraud” would imply that he dressed as a woman and gave a false identity for financial gain. Clearly this is not the case: he just wanted to see his kids everyday. Try to impanel a jury to convict him on that.

That said, he might get a indictment against him for (and this is stretching it) custodial interference, due to seeing his kids outside the court-established visitation orders. OTOH, it’s hard enough getting contempt orders enforced against deadbeat dads.

he does Jonathan Winters better than Jonathan Winters.

Off certainly, but I don’t see any reason it would be illegal, assuming you aren’t doing it to defraud someone. Merely lying isn’t illegal.

I don’t know if what Daniel did was illegal, but when the judge gave his ex full custody, that pretty much ripped Daniel’s heart out.

God bless you always!!!


P.S. Yeah his ex isn’t much of a mother. A good mom would have tried to call the families that were written down on Mrs. Doubtfire’s resume and then would have realized that the woman was a hoax.

I don’t remember many details of the movie, but did he/she work for free?

He told the caseworker that he had two jobs: the film production company and “cleaning houses.” So it’s probably safe to assume that, no, he wasn’t working for free.

He did perform a drive-by fruiting.

Aside from his acute case of being Robin Williams, why did the ex-wife dislike him?

No specific cite (haven’t seen it since it came out), but the synopsis on IMDB indicates his wife thought he was too goofy and immature. In other words, he was Robin Williams, so you had it right the first time.

I don’t think he committed any crime. As the saying goes:

In a democracy, if it’s not illegal, it’s permitted.
In a dictatorship, if it’s not illegal, it’s compulsory.

He’s certainly violated California’s eleven-strikes-and-you’re-out law.

Seems like that version should be a sequel to One Hour Photo

Technically, all he performed was a regular fruiting. The accusation of a drive-by fruiting was just to deflect blame.