Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #147 Tootsie

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 AM

Movie #147 Tootsie

(1982, US, d. Sydney Pollock)

Often cited as an example in introductory screenwriting classes, Tootsie is a fine-tuned script executed to near perfection. In my opinion, this is one of the funniest movies ever made, just behind My Cousin Vinny, The Hangover, and a few other classics. It’s about an actor with an attitude (a recipe for disaster) named Michael Dorsey (played by Dustin Hoffman) who after being blacklisted by nearly every producer in New York City, decides to cross dress as a snarky middle-aged woman named Tootsie to get a part on a soap opera. Tootsie ends up becoming a national sensation, falls in love with another actress on set, is pursued by multiple men, etc… It’s a great set up but what’s even better is that every character is clear in his or her wants and needs. It’s my theory that no comedic joke will ever fall flat in a movie if the character who says the line is the only one in the entire film who can say it. Such is the case with this film. From Bill Murray’s artsy writer’s ego to the ancient but horny as ever Dr. John Van Horn to the completely emotionally unstable Sandy Lester to every other character in the film – every piece of dialogue belongs to only one person. Holstered by a very strong performance by Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie is the kind of film writers rave about, and rightfully so. It’s stuffed to the brim with great one-liners, situations, and revelations. It’s old age will prevent a lot of younger viewers to check this out, but apart from the ridiculous 80’s soundtrack, I suggest you watch this film. It’s really something.

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  1. I’ve always wanted to see this, but never got the chance.

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