- 1 hr 56 min
Tootsie is a comedy-drama movie from 1982, directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, and Teri Garr. The film follows Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), an out-of-work actor who is struggling to find roles due to his difficult reputation. His agent, George Fields (played by Sydney Pollack), tells him he needs to change his attitude if he hopes to work again, but Michael can't seem to get a break. Desperate for work, Michael takes on the persona of a woman named Dorothy Michaels and auditions for a role in a soap opera. After landing the part, Michael finds himself having to maintain the act of being a woman both on and off the set, which leads to a series of comedic mishaps.
As Dorothy, Michael finds himself becoming close to Julie (Jessica Lange), one of his co-stars in the soap opera, as well as her father, Les (Charles Durning). But while Michael falls for Julie, she begins to fall for Dorothy, a situation that becomes increasingly complicated when Michael's friend, Sandy (Teri Garr), falls for him. As Michael struggles to keep his cover, he finds himself becoming more empathetic to the struggles of women in general and realizes the toll that his behavior as a man has taken on those around him.
Throughout the film, Michael's interactions with the other characters highlight the challenges that women face in the entertainment industry, such as sexual harassment, ageism, and the pressure to conform to societal norms. The film also touches on broader issues related to gender roles and the expectations that society places on men and women.
Despite its serious underpinnings, Tootsie is primarily a comedy, with a focus on Michael's misadventures as he tries to maintain his cover as Dorothy. Along the way, we see Michael struggling to walk in high heels, struggling to apply makeup, and struggling to manage the attentions of several different men. Through it all, we see the other characters responding to Dorothy, and Michael's realization of the power that women hold in society.
Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film takes place when Michael/Dorothy is asked to attend a women's group meeting, where he acts as a voice for feminist ideals. It's a powerful moment in the film, in which Michael as a woman, argues persuasively that women should be able to take on roles that have traditionally been the purview of men. The scene is emblematic of the film's broader message, about the importance of empathy and understanding between people of different genders and the ways in which societal expectations limit opportunities for all.
Tootsie is a classic film that has stood the test of time due to its clever writing, relatable characters, and sharp wit. Although it was released almost 40 years ago, its themes remain as relevant today as ever, speaking to issues around gender and identity that continue to challenge us. A must-watch for fans of Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, and Teri Garr, Tootsie is a comedy-drama that is both funny and thought-provoking.
Tootsie is a 1982 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 56 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 88.