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

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Advertisement
Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

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.