105 Must See Films, Uncategorized

105 Must Watch Films: Tootsie (1982)


Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, Teri Garr, Geena Davis

Director: Sydney Pollack

Dustin Hoffman plays Michael, an out of work actor and coach whose reputation for being difficult means no director will work with him. In desperation, he decides to disguise himself as a woman and get a job on a soap opera in order to raise money to fund a play his room mate is writing.

In the process he inevitable falls in love with his female co-star and can’t tell her how he feels. But more poignantly, he has to learn to be softer, to be assertive rather than aggressive, and to listen to others. He is frequently infantilised and called by pet names, ignored by cab drivers, harassed by horny old men, and other everyday occurrences that women perhaps know all too well. In falling for Julie (Lange) though he sees how poorly she’s treated, how her philandering man (who is also the director of the soap) uses a lot of the same lines that he does, and he finally starts to get it.

All this sounds very serious, but it’s not. The film is sweet and funny, with Hoffman actually playing a woman remarkably well.

It’s A Must See Because: it’s an example of how feminism was really gaining traction and acceptance in the 80’s. Some of the throw away lines in this film you’d never hear now, or they’d get blasted all over the internet by men’s rights groups. It’s a film that shows a man becoming a better person for walking a mile in someone elses heels, finally understanding how it feels to be female, and treated like less all the time.

See If If: you want to see Dustin Hoffman in a dress! It’s actually a pretty sweet film.


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