Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

25 September 2008


Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: Murray Schisgal, Larry Gelbart
Released: 1982
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durning

NIKKI says: I need someone to explain to me the infatuation the world seems to have with this movie! I had never seen it -- something about Dustin Hoffman in that horrible outfit just turned me off. I own it on video, but had never actually sat down to watch it. You know, I've seen so many clips from award shows and film retrospective programs that I felt like I'd seen it anyway.

Well, I was in the mood for old school comedy, and I went with this. Oh my god, I cannot believe how bad the film is. Worse, I can't get over how revered it is in the film world. An American Comedy Classic, this is supposed to be. But it's not -- it's a badly plotted, poorly developed, unrealistic, sexist waste of two hours. And what's worse is that is postures itself as the complete opposite.

It might be easy to fall back on, "it was the time", but I just don't see how this movie with a man parading as a woman on a TV set full of sexist males and showing them how to stand up for themselves can rightly call itself female empowerment film in an age where we had Norma Rae and Silkwood. It's offensive that we need this MAN to stand up for women on the set -- and that the man is himself an insufferable jerk. He was a jerk in the beginning and I don't really think he changed all that much at the end. And it was never fully realised as far as why he fell in love with Jessica Lange, other than the shape of her ass. She was sweet, but he was dressed as an old woman the whole time they were together. And then she just goes off with him at the end? She doesn't even know him! And what she does know is that he's a massive liar who took extreme advantage of her.

And the relationship between Lange and Tootsie was so hokey and unrealistic. I've got girlfriends, really close ones that I've shared some fairly intimate moments with -- but never, ever, ever have I licked cake mix off their fingers. Any girl I'd do that to, I'd be fucking later. You know? The movie's idea of female connection is devastatingly misguided.

Oh, so much I hated about this. Hoffman's apparently convincing outfit was probably the most bothersome thing. He looks like man in drag. The voice, the walk -- it's just ridiculous and not at all funny. This is not an American Comedy Classic. It's not a female empowerment film. It probably meant well, but it just went about everything the wrong way. What does Michael learn in the end? What lesson did he really learn? And how was I supposed to feel sympathy for him when the one character he was developed as connecting with (Teri Garr) he treated like stupid child? He just fucked her to get out of an embarrassing situation and then she fell for him and then she was the ditz he had to avoid. Where's the female empowerment there?

That's it -- I'm done with this one. Terrible film. Embarrassing.


STEVE says:
Watching Tootsie again for the first time in decades was like running in to an old high school friend, only to learn that he's a dick - and worse, always has been.

I remembered liking this movie! I hated the implication that Hoffman hooks up with Jessica Lange in the end (I wanted him to get together with Teri Garr), but remembered it fondly as a classic. Looking at it now, I can see just how simplistic and condescending it is.

Tootsie is supposed to be a female-empowerment flick, but using a man dressed as a woman to empower females seems kind of backwards. Reminds me of a quote from Twin Peaks: "Using a stuffed animal to represent an endangered species as an ecological protest constitutes the supreme incongruity." And that's what's going on here. I cannot understand the accolades this film received - indeed, still receives. It's ridiculous and embarrassing.


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