Dustin Hoffman plays a tempermental unemployed actor who remakes himself as a woman to get a part in a soap opera.
[during Dorothy Michaels’ screen test]
Rita: I’d like to make her look a little more attractive, how far can you pull back?
Cameraman: How do you feel about Cleveland?
Rita: Knock it off.
-Susan at Plainfield
“Does Jeff Know?”
-Penni at the Service Center
One of the touchstone movies of the 1980s, Tootsie stars Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who disguises himself as a dowdy, middle-aged woman to get a part on a hit soap opera. The scheme works, but while he/she keeps up the charade, Hoffman’s character comes to see life through the eyes of the opposite sex. The script by Larry Gelbart (with Murray Schisgal) is a winner, and director Sydney Pollack brings taut proficiency to the comedy and sensitivity to the relationship nuances that emerge from Hoffman’s drag act. Great supporting work from Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, and pre-stardom Geena Davis. But the film finally belongs to Hoffman, who seems to connect with the character at a very deep and abiding level. —Tom Keogh