Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is a struggling father who loses his job as a voice actor for cartoons. When he throws a disastrous surprise birthday party for his son, Chris, everything takes a turn for the worse. Daniel's wife, Miranda (Sally Field), has had it with Daniel and wants a divorce. When the divorce hearings arrive, Daniel is denied custody of the children, but is allowed visitations... but seeing his children once a week isn't enough. Daniel, with the help of his friend, theatrical make-up artist Frank (Harvey Fierstein), disguises himself as "Mrs. Doubtfire," a woman of mature years, a sharp tongue, and an endearing way with the children. In the guise of "Mrs. Doubtfire", Daniel charms his way back into the lives of his unsuspecting family. But his act is too good, and complications arise... and if his act is discovered, he may be separated from his family permanently.