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Relationships in the Films: Fools Rush In and Mrs. Doubtfire Term Paper

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Updated: Mar 27th, 2020


This paper will analyze the concepts of marriage, relationships, and commitments. The films, Fools Rush In and Mrs. Doubtfire, will be analyzed in a bid to elaborate the aforementioned topic. This goal will be achieved by engaging events that reflect and build the topic. According to Chambers (86), marriage is one of the remarkable decisions that people make in life.

It entails the promise by two people to come together and share life on all aspects as one inseparable unit. Marriage, relationships, and commitments are different phenomena, but they are enjoined in purpose, and thus they will be discussed throughout the paper by generating examples from the aforementioned two films.

The choice to engage the film, Fools Rush In, by Alex Whitman and Isabel Fuentes as actors, hinges on the premise that it begins by the two actors trying to establish a relationship, even though they do not believe in it.

Alex does not like marriage-minded girls, but the moment he meets Isabel for the first time, he wants to hold on her despite his fears to commit to a relationship that might result in a marriage. The choice of this film is influenced by the view that it links well with the topic by highlighting the challenges that marriages face and the factors that influence people’s failure to be committed in relationships.

The second film, Mrs. Doubtfire, is acted by Daniel Hillard and Miranda as his wife whom they divorce in early stage of the plot. The choice of this film is influenced by the act of Daniel being represented as a husband and father who cares about his marriage; however, he is not ready to show his commitment until he undergoes a divorce.

The theme in this film serves to show the importance of understanding each other’s need in marriage, as opposed to waiting until one gets a divorce and start wishing to do things s/he never did for the marriage like in the case of Daniel.

Marriage, relationships, and commitments

Individuals should not just wake up one day and decide to get married. On the contrary, marriage requires unparalleled patience, humility, and understanding by both partners. Marriage is the decision by two individuals to experience life together at all levels with outmost understanding of each other coupled with sharing life on social, economic, and spiritual levels.

To most people, marriage is a bold act of adulthood and maturity, but to others who rush into committing themselves, they might end up in divorce even before they understand its basics. The journey to understanding justice, commitment, and compassion in a relationship is turbulent, and thus it requires the involved parties to take ample time and think through their lifetime goals, visions, likes, and dislikes.

The early stages of marriage involve developing unconditional love after which each partner creates hope of lasting love and this atmosphere can only be sustained if couples are faithful and loving unconditionally to each other. By nurturing unconditional love, individuals evoke spiritual virtues, shared thoughts, romantic memories, met needs, and hard times endured together. This aspect ensures the development of commitment to the marriage or relationship (Harvey and Denene 197).

Nevertheless, individuals might have many questions like how does commitment relate to marriage or why do people choose to marry in the first place. People get into marriage expecting to meet various life aspects as couples, such as having a family and living to fulfill life aspirations of each other. This common goals demand commitment through caring, providing, abiding, consoling, listening, and celebrating each other for a successful relationship.

Commitment requires one to abide by to all obligations accorded to him/her in a marriage (Harvey and Denene 118). Marriage involves a dedicated pledge by each partner, either publicly in a wedding ceremony or indirectly through writing. This commitment precedes the actualization of what that pledge means to the couples.

Relationship in most cases precedes marriage, but it does not necessarily result in a lifelong union. In addition, after the two partners get married, the relationship grows strong. Personal commitment by the partners creates individual desires to hold on or move on by getting married.

Structural commitment inhibits partners from moving out of a relationship even if at times they wish to, for instance, emotional attachment, financial status, or disapproval from society. Then there is the moral commitment, which develops from the partners’ beliefs that the relationship holds much for the future of the two. This commitment underlines happy relationships and successful marriages (Chambers 203).

Some people decide to live in relationships with no strings attached vis-à-vis free of commitments; however, this aspect invites many risks. After some time in a relationship, some partners decide to give marriage a try by forgetting that marriage is one human act that needs a lot of courage and profound thinking.

These relationships normally do not last long before a divorce. The goodness of marriage emanates from the promises that each partner makes prior to coming together. In addition, the commitments create the basement of oneness and devotion to marriage (Morgan 63). If a relationship lacks a commitment journey to focus on, then it is likely to lose direction and lead to separation and divorce.

Reflection on the films

The film, Fools Rush In, strongly builds from the topic of marriage, relationships, and commitment in several ways. Alex Whitman meets Isabel Fuentes for the first time in Las Vegas and they coincidentally fall in love. Alex does not regard marriage-minded girls, which shows that he is the kind of man who is not ready to get in marriage commitments (Fools Rush In).

However, this aspect does not prevent him from establishing a relationship, albeit the two do not see it coming, and thus they do not expect it to last. On the first day of meeting, they make love in circumstances that they cannot explain or understand. The act of making love on the first meeting is a rushed decision with no commitment. The two lose links for three months, and the moment Isabel visits, she tells Alex that she is pregnant.

The making of a relationship begins and Alex, who has always avoided marriage, decides that Isabel is not the caliber to let go. Similarly, Isabel turns to Alex as if he is the only man on earth. The two get married without understanding the commitments to pursue in life. Therefore, disagreements emerge on which church to host their wedding, as Isabel wants a Catholic wedding to please her parents, while Alex is a Protestant.

Therefore, failure to share spirituality creates conflicts. The relationship starts with a lot of negatives. Isabel does not want to see Alex talk to other women and Alex lies to Isabel who consequently feels disappointed and betrayed. Alex gets busy with his job, but Isabel wants him to quit and have time with the family. This idea infuriates Alex, and thus he declines to abandon his long found job for a mere marriage, which is adding very little to his life.

The two disagree on almost everything including religion. After a long time of struggle, they start bonding and understanding each other. Clearly, rushing into a marriage and failing to commit gives no moral obligations to the two partners. Alex is not ready to commit to the family by being around, he gives his job the first priority, and the marriage is always hanging on the balance waiting to fall on either direction. As the two partners start to reason together, the marriage gains balance and the relationship starts to thrive gradually.

In the second film, Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel, the husband to Miranda and father to 3 kids, gets a divorce in a very absurd way. Miranda cannot live to see his husband’s idiotic acts, and thus files for a divorce and Daniel is instructed to visit his children only on Saturdays. The marriage breaks due to misunderstanding and failure to abide by, listen, cherish, and celebrate family life together.

After the divorce, Daniel realizes that he needs to see his family more than ever, and thus he works out a trick to disguise himself as a babysitter so he can have time with the kids (Mrs. Doubtfire). The trick works out and Daniel, as a nanny in disguise, turns out to be so loving, caring, protective, and helpful, which contradicts what he was before the divorce. This aspect underscores the realities that couples have to face after they divorce.

Daniel realizes that he did very little when he had a chance to build his relationship and family. He never lived to his promises and since life denies him a second chance, he is consumed in the fire of guilty. Miranda realizes that she cannot live a lonely life, and thus she finds a new relationship.

Miranda and her newfound love slander Daniel in his presence, as a nanny, but he has to go through it since he wants time with his kids. Miranda fails to restore her broken marriage, but instead she focuses on her career. Relationships can grow to lofty heights if the involved parties keep hope, faith, and love. However, the moment the priorities are compromised, faith fades, commitments are ignored, and thus marriages wither.


Inasmuch as the secrets to successful marriage and relationships are plain, most couples only focus on the complexities of marriage, thus ignoring the simplicity in understanding each other. This paper has shown that failure to prioritize each other and commit to marriage cause instability, thus leading to divorce and separation.

The two films have given insight on the need for couples to enhance connection through love, interaction, intimacy, and caring about each other’s concerns. The paper identifies that the second film, Mrs. Doubtfire, focuses on committed relationships with no conflicts, but they arise, the relationship is doomed.

The first film, Fools Rush In, counters this assertion by showing that despite all ups and downs, a relationship can gain momentum as long as the involved parties realize the common purpose that joined them in the first place. However, this paper has established that for marriage to flourish, by each individual must commit and understand each other’s need failure to which the relationship stagnates and dies.

Works Cited

Chambers, Deborah. A Sociology of Family Life: Change and Diversity in Intimate Relations, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012. Print.

Fools Rush In. Dir. Andy Tennant. Los Angeles: Columbia Pictures Corporation. 1997. Film.

Harvey, Steve, and Milner Denene. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, New York: Amistad, 2009. Print.

Morgan, Stephen. On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States, Stanford: Stanford UP, 2005. Print.

Mrs. Doubtfire. Dir. Chris Columbus. Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 1993. Film.

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