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There is so much more to this film than Dustin Hoffman running around
in a dress trying to act like a woman. Tootsie is one of the most
intelligent comedies I've ever seen. It is perfectly cast,
well-layered, and full of surprises.
Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey. He seems to know everything about acting except how to stay employed as an actor. In an early montage we see him auditioning for numerous plays where he is either too old, too young, too short, simply not the right guy for the part, or in some cases impossible to work with. We also see him trying to teach his craft to some young wannabe actors, and working at a restaurant to pay the bills. After a hilarious argument with his agent, he is simply told "No one will hire you!" The very next shot has Hoffman in drag walking down the street to an audition for a soap opera part his friend (Terri Garr) was unable to land. So intent is the chauvinistic director (Coleman) on casting a woman that looks tough enough for the part of a hospital administrator, Hoffman is denied without so much as a reading. He responds with a hilarious tirade that opens the door to his television career. Hoffman lands the part, and is soon winning over fans all over the country.
While Hoffman finds it wonderful to be working regularly, his personal life is understandably put to the test. He alienates Garr, is constantly made fun of by his roommate (Murray) and falls in love with one of his co-stars (Lange) who of course cannot learn his secret or he's out of a job. Things are further complicated when two older men fall in love with him. It would be pointless to try and describe some of the awkward situations he finds himself in. You must see the movie to experience them for yourself.
The film is so well-cast it's incredible. There are so many fine actors at work here that it almost becomes a contest of who can steal the scene first. Murray gets his share with his improvised lines. His lamenting of the state of his plays during a party scene will have you howling. The icing on the cake was director Sydney Pollack agreeing to play Hoffman's agent. They only have a few scenes together, but they are the film's best.
Tootsie is head and shoulders above other films I've seen that deal with men in women's clothing. Mrs. Doubtfire for example was all slapstick without much heart. In the end it tried to redeem itself in that department and just got way too sappy. Tootsie also wisely holds back in the feminism department. Although Hoffman's Dorothy Michaels is clearly a woman who inspires others to stand up for themselves, he is advised to tone it down by Pollack in one scene. Hoffman feels his Dorothy character should be doing specials and giving advice and whatnot, but Pollack reminds him, "You have NOTHING to say to women, Michael." In other words, you're lucky you've gotten away with the stunt up to this point, now you should be looking for a way to get out.
Overall Tootsie is wonderful experience. It made a fortune when released, and is still very relevant today. Don't miss it! 10 of 10 stars from the Hound.
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!
Remember when comedies used to be actual movies with actual stories
with actual points and the funny just flowed out of them, instead of
just a flimsy excuse to string together jokes and funny scenes and
stock situations? Yeah, me too. What happened?
If you're in the mood for a great movie that will get you to cough up a boatload of honest laughs, then you ain't gonna do better than TOOTSIE. You are not going to find a better written, acted, and directed comedy anywhere. There are plenty as good - but none better. This is a career highpoint for all involved, and when "all" includes names such as Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman, you know that's a sentiment that carries some significant weight.
And it just reaffirms the old adage that every single comedy should have Bill Murray in it.
Possibly the best gender comedy of all time! Everything in this baby
A script that is both clever, endearing and realistic in its depiction of
the emotional transformation within Michael Dorsey, incredible acting
performances (with Dustin Hoffman, Terri Garr and unbilled Bill Murray as
standouts) and a great soundtrack that adds volumes to the mood of the
This is a 10! Watch it!
It's more than a movie about a man in drag and it's more than just a great
movie. This movie goes to show that Dustin Hoffman is best at playing the
oh-so-very-different characters. Whether it's his unforgettable character
in Rainman or Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michael in this, Dustin is at his best
when he plays someone DIFFERENT, someone who is not your average
This film will make you laugh, that's for sure, but it'll also make you rethink about the things that really make you happy in your life, something too few of us think about...almost never.
This is a wonderful film,I can't remember how many times I have seen it,I love it! Dustin Hoffman is brilliant as Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels.Along with Jessica Lange and Teri Garr and fantastic direction from and co-star Sydney Pollack,this couldn't be any better.It's a great story and well scripted and very funny besides.If you love films you can't not love this one.This is my 2nd favourite film in the world only because ''Some Like it Hot'' is my first choice.Dustin is one of the best actors in the business and continues to be to this day.
Wow!, what a film anyone who has seen this film would definetly agree with me that this film touches you in so many different places. It's funny, sad but also appealing to so many different people. Dustin Hoffman is superb in it, so is Jessica Lange the way they act on set together is very amusing but when they are alone, it's always an emotional scene. Especially the scene in which Julie (Lange) throws a glass of champagne at him when he tries to come on to her at a party, it's so funny. Murray is also good as Hoffman's mixed-up flat mate. Sydney Pollack the director also takes a small role as Hoffman's Agent who unsuccesfully tries to find him work. The viewer sees the struggle of all the characters in their everyday life. There is also a touch of romance in the fim for the sentimentals in this world. The whole team bonds together to create a funny, imaginative film suitable for anyone who is in the mood for a laugh or a cry. I thouroughly reccomend it!!
It's strange how seeing a man dressed up as a woman always seems to be
funny and popular with the audiences. Milton Berle helped make
television with skits like this on his early 1950s show. It works here,
too, with Dustin Hoffman applying the makeup and playing the role to
Helping Hoffman is Jessica Lange in, by far, her most attractive role. I'm not particularly a fan of hers but she looked spectacular in here, almost like Marilyn Monroe.
This was a popular film because the humor was good and the two leads did a nice job, and people like a good romance story, too. Hoffman, like him or not, is a fabulous, able to play so many diverse roles. He's an amazing actor.
Sometimes overlooked is the big-name supporting cast which includes Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, Bill Murray, Chares Durning and Geena Davis. The latter was making her screen debut in here!
This isn't as "cute" as it was 25 years ago but it sure was a justifiable bit hit back in the early '80s.
If there is 10 things I would advise my grandchildren to do in their
life, watching this film is the 2nd. You think I'm joking though, I am
Over the years of cinema the entire trend of men in drag has been used, abused then labeled as being gay. For all you homo-phobics that think this is purely a 'girly flick' with cheeky unfunny drag gags, then stop right there. You couldn't be more wrong. I agree that a man dressing up in womens clothing is no longer a big deal and is never humorous, after centuries of it. This is the most witty, hilarious and relaxed movie that so many actors and directors have missed completely when dealing with the whole 'drag' subject.
The storyline is a hot tempered and highly opinionated out-of-work actor(Dustin Hoffman) is told by his agent (Sydney Pollack) in all kindness that nobody will hire him. He takes it upon himself to dress as a woman just so he is not recognized by those he has p'ed off in the past. From Michael Dorsey to Dorothy Michaels, Hoffman plays a woman with such a justice you forget she's not real. Just like everyone in the movie, you will fall for Tootsie head over heals!
It's hard to deny this as a funny film, because it is so hilarious! I
find myself still cracking up after all these years, each time I see
it. I've seen it countless times, and it's still a great watch.
Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an unemployed actor, who can't seem to get along with any director or writer in town. One day, he takes his friend, Sandy to audition for a part in a soap opera. She is turned down, and because he is so desperate for work, he dresses up like a woman, and goes in for the interview himself. He is hired because of his ( I mean, her) defiant attitude, and throughout the rest of the film, he is now known as, Dorothy Michaels.
The film is hysterical, and well-written. There is not a time that I've seen this film, where I didn't laugh or smile. It's light, but has some adult material that might not be appropriate for anyone under twelve. It's cute, and there's really not much more to it than that. I think everyone will love it, once they give it a chance.
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