American romantic comedy from 1982.
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr
Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: Larry Gelbart, Murray Schisgal, Don McGuire,
Bechdel test: Fail
The struggling actor Michael Dorsey, halfway as a joke, dresses up as a woman and auditions for a part on a daytime soap. He gets the part and has to pretend to be a woman full time in order to make a living. An additional complication arises when Michael falls for one of his new colleagues.
I have seen “Tootsie” before and I loved it. It is a funny and heartfelt story about gender roles and expectations. The various realizations that Michael has about female grooming, clothing, sexual harassment and behavioral restrictions are realistic without being overly preachy.
I once saw an interview with Dustin Hoffman on playing a woman and it is a little moving. Here is a report on the interview.
“Tootsie” is just a wonderful story about a sweet, but a little bit ignorant, man who is enlightened and becomes somewhat less ignorant. It is not overly complicated, but the minor entanglements that pretending to be a woman makes, are funny and enjoyable.
The audio and visuals are quite unobtrusive and don’t really make any particular impression.
The acting of Dustin Hoffman is amazing. He really transforms, more than a visually, when he dresses in drag. This is the performance of a lifetime.
I would not mind seeing this movie again, and I probably will. I would like to see an updated version of the movie though. Some of the developments in social media and internet communication has changed things for women and made these pressures we go through maybe even harder, so that would be a good story for today.
There is even pressure to look “just right” even when your body is making a whole new person, as detailed in this article about Kim Kardashian’s pregnancies. That might not be the best possible story line for an updated Tootsie, but there is no lack of possible angles to explore.
I would recommend that everyone watch “Tootsie” at least once in their life. Understanding some of the basic pressures that women experience is important and the movie is funny as well, so just sit back and enjoy.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “Tootsie” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
17 movies down. 348 to go.
If you want to get “Tootsie” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?
Tomorrow’s movie is “La Haine“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.