We watched this movie because Elizabeth loves it but also because it’s on the National Film Registry. I wasn’t really expecting to like this movie but it’s actually pretty funny and one thing I did not know is that Bill Murray is in it!
This biggest thing I have against this movie is that Dustin Hoffman really doesn’t look like a lady when he’s dressed up as Dorothy, he looks like Dustin Hoffman in drag. But I guess that’s kind of part of the story, no matter what you look like you should be given a chance. Dustin Hoffman is fantastic is in it, Bill Murray is fantastic, and the jokes are constant and effective.
I’m really not sure what it is about men dressing up as women that I find so funny. I know that probably sounds offensive, like I laugh at crossdressers. But I really just mean men dressing up as women for comedic purposes. It kills me. Does it come from lots of secretly watching The Kids in the Hall when I was little? Or is it just something I naturally find funny? I don’t really know, but I do know that Tootsie is amazing already, made even more amazing by how funny I find Dustin Hoffman dressed as a woman.
There’s about a million things to love about Tootsie. One of them is how great Dorothy Michaels is, Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman)’s female alias. She sort of reminds me of Clair Huxtable, in that she’s always standing up for herself and women and telling men what’s up. The way Michael is affected by what he’s seen and done as a woman is also really interesting; he understands some of the difficulties of being a woman (like being hit on and wearing stockings) but not really enough to betray his male tendencies (like leading women on and having a one night stand with a long-time friend).
Tootsie also really makes me love Dustin Hoffman, even though I loved him already. When I think about how Dustin Hoffman is also Raymond from Rain Man and Captain Hook from Hook, and then Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels from Tootsie, it’s clear how incredible his range is. I think a lot of actors get their inspiration from makeup and costumes when they play such a different character, as they should, but Dustin Hoffman always seems able to take it to the next level.
Also, this probably is weird, especially considering the fashion of 1982, but I loved how comfortable Julie (Jessica Lange) always looked. When she wasn’t in her nurse costume for the soap opera she’s on, she was always wearing sweatshirts or loose blouses or dresses or something and she just looked so comfortable. Not only do I think it made her character seem softer and approachable, but it was just nice to look at.