Probably one of the best known movies in a long time Tootsie is a fine vehicle for Dustin Hoffman. Truthfully he makes one ugly woman, but face it folks, we didn't have a lot to work with here in the first place.
An edgy, out of work actor, Hoffman devices a plan to audition for the part of a woman on a soap opera, never assuming he would manage to get the part. Not only did he get it, he excelled in it and became an icon to the working woman. This forces him to continue his charade, hiding it from his girlfriend (Teri Garr) and fending off soap hotshot loverboy, George Gaynes (in a truly hysterical scene by the way).
As things go, he falls in love with the star of the show, Jessica Lange, but is forced to become her female' friend often babysitting for her while she goes out on dates with the show director, the irrepressible Dabney Coleman. As best friends, they visit Langes family home which lead to some terribly funny scenes of them in bed together, Hoffman in full female regalia. While there, Langes father (Charles Durning) falls for Hoffman/Dorothy, finally pushing Hoffman to admit his deception.
A really great movie with fantastic acting. Hoffman gives probably one of his best performances since The Graduate even though he ain't a pretty woman by any means, although he does look great in that sparkly dress. Teri Garr is hysterical as the somewhat jilted girlfriend, kindy ditzy, wondering if Hoffman is fooling around or has just turned gay.
Coleman, reminiscent of his role in Nine to Five plays a lecherous old creep and you get a soft spot in your heart for Durning as he longs for Dorothy to replace his dead wife and give him a bit of happiness in his life. Lange, although giving a good performance, seemed just a little too whinny and needy for me, kinda like fingernails on the blackboard.
Also starring: Bill Murray, Sydney Pollack, Geena Davis, George Gaynes, Estelle Getty and ta da Ibbits Warriner!
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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Dustin Hoffman plays a brilliant but difficult actor (Michael Dorsey) who dresses up as a woman to land a job in a soap opera (“General Hospital”) and then has to keep up the disguise as the show becomes incredibly popular with women who see Dorsey’s character (“Dorothy Michaels”) as a feminist hero. Dorsey falls in love with his co-star Julie (played by Jessica Lange) who has become friends with his character “Dorothy.” Serious complications occur when Julie’s widowed father Les falls in love with “Dorothy.” At one point in the movie, during a conversation with “Dorothy,” Julie laments that men cannot be honest with women about their intentions and how it would be so much simpler if they were. Later, Michael (as himself) runs into Julie at a party and tries the direct approach saying, “You know, I could lay a big line on you and we could do a lot of role playing, but the simple truth is that I find you very interesting and I’d really like to make love to you.” Julie douses Michael with her drink and walks away. At the end of the movie, Julie is angry at Michael for having “deceived” her father and Michael runs after her trying to smooth things over. Julie says, “I miss Dorothy” and Michael says, “You don't have to. She's right here. And she misses you. Look, you don't know me from Adam. But I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman...