Michael Dorsey is an unemployed actor with an impossible reputation. In order to find work and fund his friend's play he dresses as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, and lands the part in a daytime drama. Dorsey loses himself in this woman role and essentially becomes Dorothy Michaels, captivating women all around the city and inspiring them to break free from the control of men and become more like Dorsey's initial identity. This newfound role, however, lands Dorsey in a hot spot between a female friend/'lover,' a female co-star he falls in love with, that co-star's father who falls in love with him, and a male co-star who yearns for his affection. Written by
Michael, an unemployed actor in New York, takes desperate measures by dressing up as a woman called Dorothy Michaels and gets a job at an TV soap opera, where he falls in love with Julie. But how to tell her that he is actually a man...?
Winner of 3 Golden Globes ( Best movie comedy/musical, best actors Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange ) and one Oscar ( Best actress Jessica Lange ), "Tootsie" is a small masterpiece of intelligent comedy, full of emotions, love and interesting observations about the relationship between women and men.
The situations are deliciously written. Just take the scene where Dorothy is auditioning for the role in the TV soap opera but is turned down because she is "too soft". Her response is gold: "Yes, I know what you want! You want some gross caricature of a woman to prove some idiotic point, like power makes women masculine, or masculine women are ugly...! Well, shame on you, you macho sh*t a**!" When later asked from the producer if she was just acting when she said that or if she was natural, she responded: "Which answer will get me the job?" Needless to say she got the job that instant, and a special place in my heart. But the best scenes are the ones where Dorothy is constantly improvising on the set, like when she was supposed to say to a woman who was beaten up by her man to take a therapy, but instead decided to tell that she would never let a man raise his hand on her( and then she threw a vase of flowers into the wall! ). Wonderful fun! Billy Wilder would be proud!
Dustin Hoffman is pure genius, more as a woman then as a man, as are Terri Garr and Bill Murray, before his critical fame with "Lost in translation" and "Broken flowers". "Tootsie" is quite simply a classic all the way through!
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