The last two movies on the AFI list were intense films: Saving Private Ryan and A Clockwork Orange. When I saw Tootsie was up next I was relieved to have a comedy. I watched it on a Saturday night after dealing with my washing machine which decided to flood my kitchen. My laundry room is located right above the kitchen so all the water crashed through the ceiling and invaded all of my cabinets and drawers. It was a mess. Trust me, when I sat down to watch the movie I needed a good laugh.
I will admit when I saw that this movie was on the AFI list I was somewhat baffled. Yes, I like the movie, but would I rank it in the top one hundred films—I didn’t think so. But I have to watch the movies according to the list so I popped it into the DVD.
One of the things I noticed first was this flick has a stellar cast: Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Dunning, Geena Davis, Bill Murray, and Sydney Pollack. I had forgotten all about them and only remembered the star: Dustin Hoffman. I started to rethink my attitude.
The movie is a comedy-drama about an actor (Dustin Hoffman) who is difficult to work with. He learns no one wants to work with him anymore so he resorts to drastic measures. He auditions for and gets a role on a soap opera. The hitch is everyone thinks he’s a woman. This provides for much humor. But the movie is more than that. It isn’t just one prank after another. There’s heart to the story, mixed with absurd situations, serious subject matter, and social commentary. I won’t say more in case there are some who haven’t seen it.
Hoffman is incredible in this film. The writing is spot on and the supporting cast is phenomenal. The movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards. Jessica Lange won for Best Supporting Actress. Hoffman was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Ben Kingsley who won for his role in Gandhi. After watching the film I can see why this movie is on the AFI list. It really is a good film. Up next is Unforgiven.
I would like to give a shout out to Geoff who has written a lovely review of my novel on his blog, The Oddness of Moving Things. And he posted his first podcast this weekend. It was a kick to actually hear his voice. We’ve been blogging buddies for so long and now I can put a voice to his words. Give it a listen. He did a great job for his first one!
Today on Making my Mark I had the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Cangro who is a blogging friend and author. I’ve been enjoying meeting and talking with authors on the new blog.
That’s all folks. Have a great day!
Very recently, Dustin Hoffman did an interview that made its way around the net, commenting on his view of the impact the movie had on modern culture and acceptance of women’s roles.
Thanks! I’ll look for it
Thanks for the shout out and the opportunity to read your book!
You’re welcome. And thanks for reading it and posting the review on your blog and on Goodreads. Much appreciated!
Tootsie is a great film. I’ve always enjoyed watching it. When you think about it in the context in which it was made, it really was a progressive film. I feel that they addressed some delicate issues in a sensitive and comical manner without making fun of cross-dressing.
I agree with you, which I think is one of the main reasons this movie has stood the test of time. And it was really progressive for the 80s–at least from what I remember.
I laughed out loud when I first saw this movie, it was so funny and Dustin Hoffman was amazing. I haven’t seen it since it’s first release, thanks for the reminder!
I’ve seen it a few times and this last time I still laughed out loud. In my book that makes a comedy great. Happy watching.
I have watched this movie a few times a d every viewing was fun. I agree, Hofman does a stellar job.
Hoffman is superb. Just superb.
It’s a great movie – quite bitter sweet in many ways.
Very much so.
And he still comes over as a really nice guy who’s not smitten with the image of himself as a “star”. I saw it at first release but would like to see it again. (my memory is appalling!) 🙂
Mine too, Jo. I completely forgot about the supporting cast.
I need to watch this again–it’s been years. Hoffman said he feels badly about the way he dismissed women who weren’t so great looking years ago. I wish more men could experience what women go through.
I think those are my favorite scenes when he’s discussing with Bill Murray how hard it is.
Bill Murray–one of my faves.
I loved him in this film.
i love tootsie. i’m not sure the kids have see it. i should point them in that direction. thx 🙂
Yes they should watch it!
I think this is a very good movie. The acting is great all around.
I also think they did not succeed in creating their vision. It is an admirable failure from that point of view and god bless them for that. Too many “artists” these days don’t have the courage to shoot for the sun or even the moon. They may not get there but damn it, it is great to watch them try.
Here is the link to the Hoffman interview.
There are some actors who still shoot for the moon I think, but that number is diminishing each year. Blockbusters–that’s what studios want. Big explosions, no story, and actors who can deliver lines but not much else. It’s depressing.
Thanks for the link. Will watch it later today.
This is an awesome film and I’m so glad you got a chance to review it. It’s really one of his great performances, along with Rain Man of course. 🙂
That’s a tough call, which is his better performance: Tootsie or Rain Man?
Duuuuuuuuuude. It is a tough one but I’ve got to go with Rain Man. Yeah…yeah…definitely. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. Five minutes to Wapner. Yeah.
I forgot the Wapner bit!
Ha! It’s awesome. I’m in love with that movie … so much so that I own it on VHS if you can believe it. I was one of those who bought it when it was first released … I guess I better get updated and get the DVD 🙂
Do you still have a VCR that works? Ours broke and it was a sad day.
Believe or not … I do 🙂 I even have one of those cleaning tapes so that it cleans it inside. This dinosaur is still alive. 🙂
Wow I’m impressed. Good for you!
Yes a great film!
I remember I enjoyed this a lot. Hasn’t Mel Gibbson done something similar?
Now you have me thinking: Do you mean, “What do Woman Want” or something like that?
It has been forever since I’ve seen this movie. I remember liking it, but not sure whether or not I would consider it one of the hundred greatest films. Strange to admit this, but I’ve never seen Saving Private Ryan. It has become one of those movies that is such a part of popular culture that I feel like I’ve seen it, but have never taken the time to actually do so.
SPR is a great movie, but very hard to watch. I can see your point though that you feel like you’ve seen it considering how much it is talked about. I would be curious to know your thoughts if you do watch it.
I loved this Movie…
It’s a good one.
Wonderful review, TBM. I haven’t seen ‘Tootsie’ yet. I will add it to my ‘To be seen’ list. It took me a while to like Dustin Hoffman and then I saw ‘The Graduate’ and ‘Kramer Vs Kramer’ and then started enjoying his performances. ‘Tootsie’ does have a stellar cast. Jessica Lange used to look so beautiful those days – probably she was the most beautiful actress in Hollywood at that time. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on ‘Unforgiven’. It is one of the few Clint Eastwood / Morgan Freeman movies that I haven’t watched. But with these two around what is not to like 🙂 I should watch it myself soon. Happy watching!
I still haven’t seen The Graduate. I really enjoyed Hoffman’s performance in Kramer Vs Kramer. Eastwood and Freeman are both great actors and I usually admire their work. We’ll see about Unforgiven 🙂
I always watch this movie whenever it comes on television. Sidenote: I recently watched an interview with him and my friend’s 10 year old son said “oh, isn’t that the guy from ‘Meet the Fockers’? Has he been in other movies too?”. That made me smile!
That is funny. I love kids and the things they say and think.
Tootsie is so funny. i still remember the stomach ache i had from laughing the first time i saw it.
It did make me laugh out loud on many occasions.
I am going to have to watch it again it was so long ago that I saw it but I remember loving it then
It still made me laugh.