Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is an unemployed actor with a reputation of being difficult to work with. In his intention to help a friend fund his play, he has dressed up as a woman and auditions as Dorothy Michaels in a daytime TV drama. Michael has lost himself in his invented female person who has inspired the women all around the city to get free of the control of the male population. His endearing character has brought trouble and confusion though. How does he tell Julie (Jessica Lange), the girl he is madly in love with, about his real identity? What will come of his hit soap opera and his career if the people learn that the character they have fell in love with is actually performed by an actor that nobody wants to work with?
The film may have been made in the 1980’s, but its theme is still relevant today. The need to be creative in order to survive in a competitive world is no new thing to us especially nowadays. How much one is willing to give up and how much one is interested in getting something can be the gauge in predicting the success of an endeavor. Tootsie, the character, has made many viewers laugh and cry. He has also made me realize the challenges of the acting career as an artist needs to have a certain kind of persona to maintain. The impact of a daily soap on the people is not to be taken for granted. Even today, the proliferation of TV dramas, including sitcoms and reality shows, influences the daily lives of many.
There is a dialogue, or should I say monologue of Dorothy that makes every character in the drama, the production crew, the TV audience in the film, and the cinema audience, including myself, wonder where it is leading to. There is suddenly a big question whether it is part of the script (of the TV drama in the movie, not the movie itself) or not. The whole message of Dorothy is quite long (but I have not felt a bit of sleepiness) and nobody knows when it is going to end. It just goes on and on and Dustin is such an effective actor in this particular scene. Kudos to him! Overall, this film is great and very relevant. Just imagine, it is a 1982 film and we are still talking about it today.