Tootsie (1982)
December 11, 2016 7:38 PM - Subscribe

Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.
posted by rhizome (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is actually my favorite movie, probably because I was forced to watch it in three languages dozens of times before I was 20.... Bill Murray slays me. So many great cameos.
posted by bq at 11:00 PM on December 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

That is one nutty hospital!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:11 AM on December 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I almost added a "nuttyhospital" tag.
posted by rhizome at 1:38 AM on December 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

I watched the first hour of this before bed last night thanks to this thread and I really want to thank you for that. I remember loving it as a kid even though I was too you to really get it and then thinking it was sorta problematic in college but now I'm a lot more forgiving of the gender stuff because I'm old enough to realize that the protagonist isn't always the hero. "I think Dorothy's smarter than me" is such an important line that I never quite got before.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:10 AM on December 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

Tootsie was in heavy rotation on cable for many years, so I've probably watched it too often to have any objectivity on it. And while I can see that it is ostensibly a "mighty whitey does feminism" story, it doesn't strike me as obnoxious as many similar stories. Maybe because of Dorsey's eventual acknowledgment of what a shitty guy he's been, or because the character doesn't just breeze through every situation without cost? For all his maneuvering to avoid the onscreen kiss in his first day, he still gets the unwanted kiss off camera. And I think it's clear that he can afford to be more strident in his feminism not because he's better at being a woman than the other women in the movie, but because he's in that initial high of outraged activism whereas women who have been dealing with sexism since forever tend to pick their battles/play the long game because there's only so much banging your head against the wall one can take. And also that he can go back to being Michael instead of Dorothy if worst came to worst.

But, yeah, such perfect casting, so many great funny scenes. In some ways it seems like Murray and Hoffman are in completely different movies, and yet they're also perfectly in sync.

And now I have that song in my head.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:27 AM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

From Andy Warhol's dairy " I invited Curley to see Tootsie…It’s not really like a drag queen, it’s like having an aunt that you didn’t know was a man. 12/4/82"
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on December 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

Speaking of lines I didn't get as a kid:

"No, we are not friends. I don't take this shit from friends. Only lovers."

(yes, I'm watching the remainder of the movie on my phone at work)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Also, as a kid who grew up watching and loving soap operas...excuse me, daytime dramas... I always regretted (and still do) that we don't know how they wrapped up the Emily Kimberley storyline in universe on Southwest General. I mean if they still had "Dororthy"/Michael under contract anyway.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:40 PM on December 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

"Does Jeff know?" is one of my favorite line deliveries in any movie.
posted by holborne at 4:02 PM on December 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

One of my top 3 movies of all time. Perfect. Teri Garr alone is a master class every time she appears on screen. And you get Bill Murray too! And Dabney Coleman! And George Sanders and Sidney Pollack and Charles Durning! And Jessica Lange at her most heartbreakingly beautiful! Just perfect.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:29 PM on January 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Very few comedies have ever won the Oscar for Best Picture; I think Tootsie should be among them. Ghandi was good, but -- Tootsie!
posted by Dolley at 1:01 PM on May 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

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