Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Tootsie (1982)
PG

When no-one will employ talented but difficult actor Michael Dorsey (Hoffman), he dresses in drag and auditions for women's roles instead. He's extremely successful, too, but while pretending to be a woman, he finds himself falling for a female co-star.

What's less convincing is that he could get any decent roles as a woman - as there aren't very many decent roles for women. True enough, his success comes in television rather than movies, but it's still all a flimsy premise that you'd do best to ignore.

What you can't avoid but also really can't quite put your finger on is a sense of fun to the whole piece. It's jaunty, witty, and somehow satisfying despite being simple.

Perhaps its strength comes from how it isn't just a star vehicle for Hoffman, but more of a true ensemble comedy with Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, and particularly Dabney Coleman doing very well. Even director Sydney Pollack, in a brief appearance as Dorsey's agent, is funny and makes the role more than just a cameo.

The title, by the way, was reportedly Dustin Hoffman's suggestion: it was his mother's nickname for him as a child.

Read about another great cross-dressing comedy: "Some Like It Hot".

End Credits

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writer: Larry Gelbart, Murray Schisgal

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, Geena Davis

Genre: Comedy

Length: 119 minutes

Cinema: 1982

VHS: 21 May 1996

Country: USA

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