Review: Tootsie (1982) was ahead of its time a long time ago

by Banned Library in


Some movies are benchmarks. Die Hard set a new idea about action movies and how tightly they can be structured. Jurassic Park broke ground when those dinosaurs broke their fences. The Matrix did good with some computer stuff. But just because they were landmark in what they did, doesn't mean they can still hold water. I walked all around the world there to say that Tootsie is not very good.

    Michael Dorsey acts so bad that nobody wants him to act for them. He's the standard hero, too good for his own good. When he gets told that nobody will hire him, however, he decides to create a female character, Dorothy Michaels, get her on a soap opera, and become a feminist icon. Along with all the relationship drama, this is problematic.

    So, um, this is Mansplaining: The Movie, right? I mean, I know he learns as he goes, gets the fact that he treats women like crap while being treated like crap as a woman… but it just felt wrong. The message here is that it takes a man to tell other men that treating women wrong is bad. And that feels bad.

    Also, Dorothy Michaels creeped me out. Like those robots that sorta look like faces but fall over the uncanny valley and make you shiver down in your ass. Robin Williams must have gotten lessons on the set of Hook for Mrs. Doubtfire, a superior cross dressing comedy if only because the "hero" and the love interest don't end up together at the end because it's flat wrong to start a relationship with lies.

If you can, find the Bill Murray scenes online or fast forward through the rest to get to those. Man's been a goddamn treasure from the beginning.

Actually, Jessica Lange and Teri Garr, too. Thinking about it, just about everyone but Dustin Hoffman are amazing. And maybe it's because he commits so hard, but he's the anti-comedy. I dunno.