Sunday, 13 February 2011

I'm just afraid that you're going to burn in Hell for all this.

No 168 - Tootsie
Director - Sydney Pollack

I had never seen this film - and my initial thought was that it was going to be something that I'd already seen before.....

Well.... I was wrong and a half!

So, the marvellous and utterly superb Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey - an actor who gets into drag so to help him get a part as a female character in a soap, because no one will hire him as himself.

"Aha!" You all say "I know where this is going!"

And.... Whilst Dorothy Michaels is closer to Josephine and Daphne than she is to Mrs Doubtfire, and whilst there are some parallels (the male character falls in lover with a female coworker who only knows him as his female counterpart) Tootsie tells a very different and very interesting story.

For all the farce. For all the camp. For all the comedy genius (it has Bill Murray in it - it must be comedy genius) the film tackles a pretty serious issue. It is a film essentially about feminism. About equality in the workplace. About men's reactions to women.

Yes... it is hilarious to watch a dragged up Dustin Hoffman fight off an ever growing collecting of aging suitors, but what is more interesting is watching him unable to cope with the degrading way women are treated in the TV Show.
Its important because Michael Dorsey is not a good guy.... He spends most of the film leading his friend Sandy along after they've slept together. But slowly - by witnessing what women go through he becomes a better person.

But it doesn't hammer that message home - it is really quite a sweet film. A sweet film about discovery and worth and being a better person.
It is a film that also shows Dustin Hoffman's INCREDIBLE ACTING SKILLZ as he faultlessly switches gender (and also in several scenes, deconstructs the acting profession.... almost like he is trying to explain to us just how good he is)...

Just a really fun and uplifting film which has a pretty powerful message.

1 comment:

PhilH said...

*adds to LoveFilm list*