In a movie rich with zingers (the great Elaine May, uncredited, played a large role in shaping the screenplay), Garr has the best, this exit line from a party: “I had a lot of fun. Do you have any Seconal?”
Hoffman’s self-consciousness, which can grow wearying in films like Rain Man, is a gift here. He’s always letting his work show in Tootsie, and that’s the point: One’s forever aware of the high-wire that Dustin/Michael/Dorothy’s walking, and there are moments where you swear you can almost see the shape of Hoffman’s eyes change within a single frame as one role gives way to the other.
Tootsie is a marvel of big-studio moviemaking from an era when such a thing was no longer considered possible. It went through multiple writers and producers even before it landed at Columbia Pictures. Once it did, in 1980, the company that had made some of the best golden age comedies funded and developed it with a moxie that had mostly vanished from the majors when movies ceded ground to television and studios got sucked into conglomerates.
Whither the screwball comedy? The belief that silly, fancifully contrived farce can sneak in serious ideas? Tootsie is, insane as it sounds, the ideal movie to revisit as Hollywood's sexual harassment skeletons come tumbling out of the closet, as it's about a narcissistic actor who learns what actresses deal with. The result illustrates its thesis—both in the smart ways it intends and the dated ways it doesn't.
Broad and very funny but also smart and satirical. This is the kind of old fashioned, character based romantic comedies that studios don't seem to be able to make nowadays. Dustin Hoffman is brilliant - I had no idea he could be so funny. I also love the horrendously dated early eighties soundtrack.
Excellent romantic comedy, full of verve and razor sharp humour. Every time I watch it I notice yet more in the brilliantly intelligent and acerbic script. Needless to say the performances are great too.
Simply one of the best American comedies ever filmed filled with memorable moments and dialogue with a cast of pros that score throughout. Hoffman may be the focus but Durning, Lange, Garr, Murray, Gaynes and Pollack all score equally well. This is a film that offers a comic turn on the power of acting, the feminine persona and relationships in an entertaining yet mature manner. '...Does Jeff know?...'
A treasure. Amazing ensemble cast, one of the best ever actually. A favorite from my childhood that stands up, manages to feel very smart/modern and transcends the "man poses as a woman in contrived circumstances" trope. I'm very proud to be a woman, Dr. Brewster!!!