Chris Columbus

7.0 Home Alone (1990)
6.8 Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
6.4 Stepmom (1998)
5.1 Pixels
5.0 The Christmas Chronicles - Part Two
5.0 Rent
5.0 Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
4.5 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
4.5 I Love You Beth Cooper
4.2 Bicentennial Man
4.0 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Chris Columbus (USA, 1958) directed the comedies Home Alone (1990), its lame sequel Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York (1992), and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), an adaptation of Anne Fine's novel "Alias Madame Doubtfire" (1987), mainly a vehicle for comedian Robin Williams, with the typical Hollywood-ian sentimental happy ending. Daniel has a job making voices for cartoons but loses it when he insists on adding a line to warn children against smoking cigarettes. We can tell that he keeps losing his jobs. He picks up his three children from school: Lydia, Chris and little Natalie. It is Chris' birthday and Daniel throws a wild party for him. Meanwhile, his wife Miranda is a busy executive in a corporation. A neighbor calls Miranda in the middle of an important meeting. Miranda drives home and finds the police outside: they have been called because Daniel's party is too noisy and Daniel even hired animals, including a donkey that is eating the birthday cake. Furious that Daniel keeps making her life harder, while failing to get a stable job, she tells him that she wants a divorce. The judge assigns the children to the mother since the father has neither a job nor a home. To make things worse, a former boyfriend of Miranda, Stu, who, unlike her husband, got rich, flirts with her. Daniel finds a humble, humiliating job at a TV station, not as an actor but as a shipping boy. Miranda informs Daniel that she is looking for a housekeeper and Daniel makes sure she won't find one by changing the phone number on the newspaper advert. Then he starts calling Miranda faking different voices, each time pretending to be applying for the job but each time pretending to be a horrible housekeeper. Finally he calls her pretending to be a sweet English housekeeper and she invites him for an interview. Daniel has a brother, Frank, who is gay and runs a costume shop. Frank prepares a mask for Daniel to wear and provides him with women's clothes. Daniel becomes Mrs Doubtfire. He fools his family at the interview and is enthusiastically accepted by Miranda, and so Daniel/Doubtfire becomes the nanny of his own children. Unlike the old Daniel, who tolerated and even encouraged the children's laziness and who was responsible for the house's messy conditions, Mrs Doubtfire established discipline and tidiness. She pretends to be a good cook although in reality she has to buy the dinner from a restaurant. When Miranda comes home, she is ecstatic. Miranda is happy and the children learn to like the nanny. Daniel also cleans up his new apartment and is entitled to see the children once a week at his apartment. Meanwhile, Stu is courting Lydia and Mrs Doubtfire tries in every way to make their dates fail. One day Daniel's masquerade collapses when Chris sees Mrs Doubtfire peeing like a man in the bathroom. Chris tells Lydia and they are ready to call the police, which leaves Daniel no alternative than to remove mask and makeup and reveal who he really is. He asks them not to tell their mother Miranda and not to tell little Natalie. Since Daniel has two stable jobs and cleaned up his apartment, he asks Miranda if he could come back, but Miranda ironically tells him that she's happy with her wonderful housekeeper, Mrs Doubtfire. One day Daniel is watching the boring performance of an actor at the TV station explaining dinosaurs to children and Daniel makes fun of the actor in front of an old man who is standing nearby. The old man turns out to be the owner of the TV station. Later he catches him playing with the dinosaurs and making funny voices. Instead of firing Daniel, Lundy listens to Daniel's ideas for how to make the program more interesting for children and invites him to a dinner. At the same time Stu invites Miranda and the children to a dinner to celebrate Miranda's birthday and chooses the same restaurant at the same time. The family insists that Mrs Doubtfire joins, and s/he cannot refuse. Mrs Doubtfire shows up with a bag and during the dinner s/he changes back and forth between man and woman at the two tables. To make matters worse, Lundy is a heavy drinker and challeges Daniel at drinking lots of alcohol. Eventually Daniel forgets to change and returns to Lundy's table dressed like Mrs Doubtfire. He has the genius of offering Lundy that Mrs Doubtfire could become the star of the children's program. At the same time at the other table Daniel poisons Stu's food with pepper that Stu is allergic too. Stu is about to choke to death. Daniel, still dressed like Doubtfire, rushes to help him and in doing so loses his mask and has to confess the charade to Miranda. Miranda is furious to have been lied to all the time. There is a new hearing in front of the judge. The judge is impressed that Daniel was such a good actor but also believes that Daniel is acting even now, pretending to be a good father, and so he assigns the children only to Miranda and further restricts Daniel's rights on the children. The children return to their melancholy home routine and Miranda cannot find a housekeeper who would match Mrs Doubtfire's charm and skills. One day Miranda and the kids see Mrs Doubtfire on television: Daniel got the job from Lundy and his children show rapidly becomes a hit. Miranda is moved and visits the studio while Daniel is taping the show. She tells him that the children need him. She surprised the children with a new housekeeper: Daniel himself, not masquerading like Mrs Doubtfire.

Nine Months (1995)

Stepmom (1998)

Bicentennial Man (1999) is at the same time a sequel to Mrs Doubtfire and a sort of Christmas fairy tale. The plot is implausible and the acting stereotyped.

In a not so distant future, a wealthy family purchases a robot, Andrew, who soon develops feelings. The family is uncomfortable with Andrew's feelings, but the father appreciates them and the youngest daughter is touched by them. Eventually Andrew becomes a wood sculptor. The child, Little Miss, grows up and falls in love with him, but marries a man and has children from him. One of the children is a girl, Portia, who looks like her. In the meantime, Andrew has been virtually set free by the father who has taught him how to start a business and make money out of his creations. One day Andrew vouches his own freedom and moves out. He builds a house by the beach. Years later, the father dies. Andrew is lonely and starts a quest around the world for another robot with feelings. The quest lands him in the lab of a scientist who is capable of building human-like robots. Andrew funds his research and is turned into a human with a skin and a face. He immediately goes to visit Little Miss and meets and falls in love with Portia. Little Miss dies. Portia still rejects him because he is not truly human. Andrew asks the scientist to develop real organs and replace his clockwork with them. But the senate of the city decides that it is not enough: he is immortal, and no human can be immortal. Andrew gives up immortality to be allowed to marry Portia legally, as a human. He dies in his bed, holding Portia's hand, while the jury finally accepts his application for humanity.
(Translated by/ Tradotto da Daniela Tosi)

L'Uomo Bicentenario (1999) è al tempo stesso il seguito di <b>Mrs Doubtfire</b> e una specie di racconto di Natale. La trama è poco plausibile e la recitazione stereotipata. <DIR> In un futuro non lontano una famiglia benestante compera un robot, Andrew, che ben presto sviluppa dei sentimenti. Questo cambiamento mette a disagio la famiglia, ma il padre apprezza la sensibilità di Andrew che colpisce profondamente anche la figlia più piccola. Andrew diventa poi scultore, realizzando lavori in legno. La bambina, Little Miss, cresce e si innamora di lui ma poi sposa un altro uomo e da questo matrimonio nascono dei figli. Una di questi, Portia, le assomiglia molto. Nel frattempo, Andrew è stato in pratica liberato dal padre che gli ha insegnato come aprire un'attività, guadagnando grazie alle sue creazioni. Un giorno Andrew decide di usufruire della sua libertà, se ne va e costruisce una casa vicino alla spiaggia. Anni dopo, il padre muore. Andrew si sente solo e comincia a cercare per il mondo un altro robot con sentimenti. La sua ricerca lo porta nel laboratorio di uno scienziato che riesce a costruire robot con sembianze umane. Andrew finanzia le ricerche dello scienziato e viene trasformato in un essere umano dotato di pelle e di un viso. Si reca subito da Little Miss dove incontra Portia di cui si innamora. Little Miss muore. Portia però rifiuta Andrew perché non è del tutto umano. Andrew chiede allo scienziato di svil! uppare organi veri e di sostituire con quelli il suo meccanismo a orologeria. Ma il consiglio della città decide che questo non può bastare: Andrew è immortale e nessun essere umano può essere immortale. Andrew rinuncia all'immortalità per poter sposare Portia legalmente, da umano. Muore nel suo letto, mentre Portia gli tiene la mano e proprio quando il tribunale accetta finalmente di riconoscerlo come essere umano.

Chris Columbus also directed the first two installments of the obnoxious Harry Potter saga, based on Rowling's fantasy novels: Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). The later installments of the series were: Alfonso Cuaron's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Mike Newell's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). Then David Yates became the director for the next four movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011).

Pixels (2015)