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Tootsie (1982)

  Starring: Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray
Links: Tootsie on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Go Tootsie Go!" - a review by andy-j

Michael Dorsey is an out-of-work actor. He considers himself very good at what he does, but he has a bad reputation for being overly stubborn and a nightmare to work with. He is unpopular, lives with his friend Jeff and is adored and clung-to by his insecure and emotionally-unstable actor-friend Sandy. When he has to raise $8000 in order to put on and star in Jeff's play, he decides that, since he can't find work as a man, he'll find work as a woman. He dresses up as Dorothy Michaels, lands a part in a popular daytime soap, and begins to lead a double life. However, things become complicated and awkward when Dororthy's popularity soars and Michael falls in love with his co-star Julie (who of course doesn't know he's really a man), whose father then falls in love with Dorothy.

This is one of my all-time favourite movies. It is a brilliantly written comedy, containing some absolutely timeless moments. The comedy, however, is complimented beautifully by the drama element, which pushes the story forward and provides a lot of substance. It fleshes out the characters, adds a touch of seriousness to the entire thing, and really gives the movie a wider appeal. As well as this, the characters are explored and allowed to develop, and we get some really interesting insights into them. For example, when Michael adopts the persona of Dorothy, he surprises himself by becoming a braver, more outspoken and better person, turning into a role model for others, and encouraging them to face their demons.

The acting is one thing that really sets this movie apart. It is perfectly cast and flawless throughout. Dustin Hoffman is at his best, both as the cynical Michael and the popular and shining Dorothy. You can tell that he, like the other stars in this movie, had the time of their lives making it. Jessica Lange is also particularly impressive as Julie, the woman who, although seemingly happy, deeply undervalues her own self-worth. Also impressive (to name a few) are Teri Garr (Sandy), Dabney Coleman (Ron, the director of the soap), and Bill Murray (Jeff, in a smallish, but nonetheless memorable role). Another thing that really adds to the appeal is the behind-the-scenes looks we get at the making of a soap - this sort of thing fascinates me.

I guess a lot of people compare this movie to Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), which I think is a bit of an unfair comparison. Mrs Doubtfire was more of a kiddy comedy, which really hammed up the slapstick (to the point where it was so overdone that I just became uncomfortable watching it). Tootsie is much less of a Hollywood film, a more mature, rounded and satisfying experience.

I swear I must have seen this movie at least fifteen times, and I don't think I will ever get tired of it. It is a superbly-made and higly-watchable film.

andy-j gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 11 Jul 2002

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Number of reviews: 1
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Reader comments

  1. I agree 100% This film is basically perfect. I too have seen it umpteen times!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Rod Williams ( on Wed 11 Aug 2004 15:11 #

  2. Tootsie fans of the world unite!

    A comment from Andrew ( on Tue 31 Aug 2004 13:10 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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