Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is an unemployed actor with a reputation for being 'difficult'. Desperate for work, Michael dresses up in drag in an attempt to land a part in a daytime soap as a mature woman. He succeeds, and achieves instant fame as Dorothea Michaels. However, complications develop when he falls in love with Julie, a female cast member (Jessica Lange), while simultaneously having to fend off the amorous advances of both Julie's father (Charles Durning) and male actors on the set.
One of the touchstone movies of the 1980s, Tootsie stars Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who disguises himself as a dowdy, middle-aged woman to get a part on a hit soap opera. The scheme works, but while he/she keeps up the charade, Hoffman's character comes to see life through the eyes of the opposite sex. The script by Larry Gelbart (with Murray Schisgal) is a winner, and director Sydney Pollack brings taut proficiency to the comedy and sensitivity to the relationship nuances that emerge from Hoffman's drag act. Great supporting work from Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, and pre-stardom Geena Davis. But the film finally belongs to Hoffman, who seems to connect with the character at a very deep and abiding level. --Tom Keogh
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