Tootsie

"Excellent"

Tootsie Review


Dustin Hoffman has been nominated for seven Oscars and has won two for roles in Rain Man and Kramer vs. Kramer. With an inescapable nose and smallish stature, he's one of the few talents able to prove that the business of entertaining isn't always dependent on looks. He'll play boring or annoying roles every now and then, such as Captain Hook, but whatever he takes on, he does it with style.

Before Tootsie, Hoffman had been known more for his dramatic appearances in such films as All the President's Men and The Graduate. He hadn't been involved with all-out comedy yet, whether for lack of industry faith or blind luck. So Tootsie was his first venture into this more mainstream audience area, and he more than filled the part. Which brings us to one of the greatest role-reversal movies of the 1980's, for which Hoffman was nominated by the Academy again (though he didn't win).

Michael Dorsey (Hoffman) is an unemployed actor. He is passionate about his career, if only he would be given a chance! He becomes so frustrated, in fact, that he decides it is probably easier for a woman to get an acting job than a man, so dresses like one in an audition. His struggles begin with the famed casting couch as he must keep his femininity intact while still using wiles to get the part.

Now Dorothy Michaels, he lands a supporting role in a soap opera and fame arrives instantly. As his star rises, so does his love for his costar Julie Nichols (Jessica Lange, who did win an Oscar). As incestuous turmoil breeds on set, Dorothy becomes more popular. And as Michael takes turns being a mother to some, confessor to others, best friend, and object of lust, his respect for what he thought would be easy grows. There is a specific individual part Michael he must play for each person he works with, otherwise his paycheck will be gone, along with the woman he loves.

It may be a predictable story by now, almost 20 years later, but much of the humor still stands the test. What keeps this movie so entertaining is not the plot, which has been seen time and again, but the comedic writing (penned by Larry Gelbart, also famous for M*A*S*H) and the fine acting of Hoffman and Bill Murray. Murray isn't a major character but his meaty supporting role is flawless in terms of judging the change in Hoffman as well as their comfortable banter.

Hoffman's growth is earned instead of just a slew of easy plot devices thrown in to say, "Look, he's different now!" The character that Dorsey creates in Dorothy has three dimensions as well, instead of being a mere alter ego. Where Lange could simply have been the object of desire at the end of his tunnel, she lends a pleasurable presence whenever she walks onscreen before she even opens her mouth.

The scenes that take place behind the camera of the soap opera also never get long or boring. There is constant movement and attitude swirling in the environment. And where some of the secondary characters become a bit like caricatures, they are each charismatic enough to be able to affect great reactions from the protagonist.

A great movie for couples or those who like a good laugh at stereotypes and sexual mores, Tootsie is as wonderful of a romantic comedy today as it was 20 years ago.



Tootsie

Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th December 1982

Box Office Worldwide: $177.2M

Budget: $21M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Mirage Enterprises, Punch Productions, Delphi Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Michael Dorsey, as Dorothy Michaels, as Julie Nichols, as Sandy, as Ron Carlisle, as Les Nichols, as Jeff Slater, as George Fields, as John Van Horn, as April, as Rita, Ellen Foley as Jacqui, Peter Gatto as Rick, as Jo, Ronald L. Schwary as Phil Weintraub, Debra Mooney as Mrs. Mallory, Amy Lawrence as Amy, Kenny Sinclair as Boy, Susan Merson as Page, Michael Ryan as Middle-Aged Man, Robert D. Wilson as Stage Hand, James Carruthers as Middle-Aged Man, as Middle-Aged Woman, as Linda

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.