Tootsie (1982) – Sydney Pollack

The What Else to Watch list of DK Canada’s The Movie Book following their recommendation of Some Like It Hot, concludes with the delightful 1982 comedy, Tootsie, starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Geena Davis, Teri Garr, Charles Durning, Dabney Coleman and Bill Murray.

Hoffman is struggling actor Micheal Dorsey, he coaches, he auditions, but he just can’t score a role, and when he does, his dedication to his craft makes him too difficult to work with.

Reinventing himself, he slips into drag, and a new persona, Dorothy Micheals, and scores himself a recurring role on a daily soap, where he meets Julie (Lange). He falls in love with her, though she is seeing the director, Ron (Coleman) who is cheating on her, all while Micheal carries out a romance (of sorts) with his friend, Sandy (Garr). Perhaps it’s more of a friends with benefit thing..

His roommate, Jeff (Murray) just wants to produce a play he’s written, and Julie’s father (Durning) has romantic designs of his own… towards Dorothy.

It’s a convoluted almost farcical plot, and yet everyone of the characters plays it straight, making for a fun dramatic, frequently funny film.

tootsie1

There are discussions of trust, lies, love, affection, women, men, differences, relationships, and lots of acting points. Will he get the girl, will he let her father down easy, will everything sort itself out for a Hollywood happy ending, and will the male characters learn anything from their experience?

Not all of it works in today’s day and age. But for the most part, the film stands up, still entertains, and Hoffman is incredibly enjoyable in the role. He was nominated for an Oscar for his turn, as was Garr, Pollack for directing, and Lange did walk away with Best Supporting Actress.

This one is still an entertaining, often funny picture, and shows in a rather skewed fashion that things haven’t improved that much since this film was made, and with the #MeToo movement one watches these manner of films differently now, and sees things in a way we may not have before.

Hoffman is a lot of fun, and Bill Murray is wonderfully understated. In fact, the entire cast is top-notch, but you can’t help but feel sorry for Coleman, he seemed to be the go to comedic villain during the 1980s.

Tootsie rounds out the What Else to Watch list, and it’s time to move onto the next title in DK Books’ The Movie Book. I can’t wait to see what is next, and what new wonder I will be introduced to.

Make sure you pick one up yourself and find something amazing to watch tonight!

tootsie

 

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