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.
I had watched this film many many years ago, but I really didn't remember it being this good. The dialogue is razor-sharp and the acting is excellent. Apart from Hoffman, Teri Garr and especially George Gaynes as Tootsie's co-star and admirer deliver great performances.
It has more to say than your regular guy-in-girls-clothes mainstream comedy, however mawkish it might be, but the sad part is - laughs start running out way too soon. As if flirting with soap opera setting turned it into one. Just try to compare the loose comedy in the opening birthday party sequence with sleazy weekend at dad's, or the unbelievably banal ending.
Does the rushed ending offer all the blandness & non-nutrition of Vienna sausages on saltines? Have some moments & lines aged rather poorly? ('Don't you find it hard being a woman in the 80s?' screams 'A man wrote the words coming out of my mouth?') Sure, but Tootsie is a blast and a half--a sharp, jazzy comedy with its heart in the right place, feat. marvelous performances. Mrs Doubtfire, eat your heart out.
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.