“My friend Pete and I are doing this thing where every night we are going to watch one of AFI’s top 100 movies.”
“How many you going though?”
“Well I only have Star Wars and Tootsie, so we just keep watching those two over and over.”
I’m fairing better than Liz Lemon in my quest to watch the AFI 100, but, when Sydney Pollack died last week, Tootsie was my go-to movie as well. It’s not on my my list, but I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered.
Verdict: it certainly is, though for reasons entirely different than I recall. I was 11 when I saw the film in the theater and, at the time, enjoyed it primarily because Dustin Hoffman played a man who dressed up like a woman. It was only watching the film as an adult that I recognized that Hoffman does no such thing: he plays a man (Michael Dorsey) and he plays a woman (Dorothy Michaels), but at no time does he play a man playing a woman, at least in the sense of talking in an unbelievable falsetto, over-sashaying, and never letting the audience forget that there’s a y-chromosome underneath the pantyhose (all while we’re supposed to believe that everyone in the film is hoodwinked).
Apparently the Tootsie script is used as an example in all the screenwriting books (so says Lemon), and it’s clear why: the whole thing hangs together remarkably well, even given the preposterous premise. Yes, enduring the “It Might Be You” montage sequences is like getting a gnat in your eye, but the rest of this film is sublime. 9/10
“You were a tomato!!!
RIP Sydney Pollack
A genius on either side of the camera.