Friday, July 9, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #83

83. Tootsie (1982)

This is a hilarious and touching film that makes fun of something I loved to make fun of as a kid (and still do!): Daytime Soap Operas (dun dun dun!). Co-written by the late Larry Gelbart and directed by the late Sydney Pollack, the film tells the story of temperamental actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman, who plays temperamental all too well) who is frustratingly not getting hired for jobs on stage, film or even TV. When his friend (the delightful Teri Garr) gets turned down for a part on a soap opera, Michael decides to do the unthinkable: dress as a woman, audition for the part himself (or rather herself) and he GETS IT! (or rather she gets it!). Of course, Michael's alter-ego (Dorothy Michaels) becomes a sensation and, of course, there is plenty of humor in the man-dressed-as-woman plot. But the plot takes a turn when Michael (as Dorothy) becomes infatuated with his co-star (played to Oscar-winning perfection by Jessica Lange). It goes from a typical man-in-drag comedy to man-in-drag-BUT-in-love comedy. The film's comedic wit and charming cast make it a delightful movie to watch. Note: Another great film with a similar storyline (but in reverse) and from the same year is Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria. It's not on the list, but because it's also from 1982 and its plot is in the same vein, I thought I'd mention it. I guess 1982 was a year for gender bending!

Next Post: #82

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