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Dustin Hoffman is excellent in this 1980s comedy. He plays Michael Dorsey, an actor who is talented, but has a reputation for being ‘difficult’. When his agent says that nobody will hire him because of his attitude, Michael disguises himself as a woman who he calls Dorothy Michaels. As Dorothy, he gets a job in a soap opera, and meets the lovely Julie. He falls for Julie – but she thinks that he is her good friend Dorothy…

The American Film Institute rated this as the second funniest comedy ever (beaten to the top spot by Some Like It Hot). I personally wouldn’t agree with that – but of course it’s all subjective – as I can think of several films which I found funnier. However, Tootsie IS a lovely film – it’s warm, amusing and sweet. And the acting is just superb. Hoffman really shows just why he is such a respected actor, switching seamlessly from Michael to Dorothy and back again.

Jessica Lange is just gorgeous as Julie (and she won an Oscar for her performance), injecting just the right amount of humour and vulnerability, and the excellent supporting cast includes Sydney Pollack, as Michael/Dorothy’s agent George – and who was also the director of Tootsie; Bill Murray as Michael’s friend Jeff – Murray improvised all of his lines; Terri Garr as Sandy, Michael’s on-off girlfriend; and Charles Durning, as Julie’s father.

Overall, it’s a lovely, ‘feel good’ film, elevated from good to great by the excellent cast. If you have never seen Tootsie, I would recommend giving it a try!

Year of release: 1982

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writers: Don McGuire, Larry Gelbart, Murray Schisgal, Robert Garland, Barry Levinson, Elaine May

Main cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, Terri Garr, Dabney Coleman

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