I suspect that Mrs Doubtfire is the kind of film one shouldn't admit to liking, but I always thought it was quite entertaining. It at least makes a change from Robin Williams doing either doing someone totally immature or sappy. In the list of great comedy composers of our time, I don't suspect that Howard Shore would feature all too highly on anyone's list, Shore not perhaps being the most obvious choice to score such a film.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Shore's music is how predictable it is. In fact if I didn't know the composer I'd almost immediately have said Marc Shaiman or possibly James Horner (in places), after that I'd probably be stuck. As I've said far too many times before, there are really only so many ways to score certain types of film and as such, straying too far was never a likely option. Shore makes the best of it, with a gentle main theme which, while pleasant enough, never seems to quite get going. The magical aspect is fractionally over played, with twinkling bells at almost every turn, which gives it the erroneous feeling of being a Christmas score. Otherwise, the orchestration is quite charming, with Shore maintaining a lightness that prevents even the more sugary moments becoming too overwrought.
For the genre, it's exactly what you'd expect, but Howard Shore has penned many far superior and more inspired efforts. It's unlikely to go down as one of his greatest scores, pleasant and tuneful though it is.