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Tootsie on DVD

Man, He Feels Like a Woman!

Dustin Hoffman is Michael Dorsey - and Dorothy Michaels - in Sydney Pollack's enjoyable look at the battle of the sexes, 1980's style.

Dorsey is a gifted, driven, and uncompromising actor, but his penchant for arguing with directors has left him virtually unemployable in either New York or Los Angeles so, other than his acting class, his main hope for income rests in his job as a waiter.

When one of his friends and clients, Sandy (Teri Garr) auditions for a new role on a medical soap opera, a desperate Michael dresses up in his version of how the part should look and auditions for - and snags - the role. It's the chance of a lifetime - and the acting challenge of a lifetime as Dorsey quickly discovers he not only has to act as a woman at work, but has to create an entire life for his creation off camera as well as on in order to keep his charade from becoming known.

Meanwhile, Sandy thinks he's having an affair because of the time Michael must spend juggling his two lives - and he gets drawn into a relationship with a soap co-star Julie (Jessica Lange, the Best Supporting Actress Oscar-winner for her performance), who looks upon Dorothy as an older sister/mentor.

An increasingly confused and harried Michael begins falling in love with Julie, whose widowed father (Charles Durning) is falling in love with Dorothy at the same time - as is one of the soap's male stars (George Gaynes).

It's a case of mistaken identity, identity crises, love and lust, man versus woman and man versus man - all wrapped in a funny and intelligent screenplay that never takes itself too seriously, yet which allows the characters (especially Michael) to grow and develop.

In the end, Tootsie is a remarkably enjoyable romantic comedy with outstanding performances - and as Hoffman learns what life is like on the other side of the gender divide we get some interesting insight into male/female relationships and the psyches of both sexes.

The concept sounds unbelievable, but in the hands of the screenwriters, director Sydney Pollack, and the outstanding cast (which also includes Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, and Geena Davis) it all becomes believable.

The DVD is presented in widescreen on one side and Pan&Scan on the other. Both sides are treated to the original mono audio as well as a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix that sounds pretty much like mono to us. Picture and sound quality are very good.

Extras include production notes, bonus trailers, filmographies, etc.

Tootsie, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
116 min, widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible/ Pan&Scan, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray
Produced by Sydney Pollack and Dick Richards
Written by Larry Gelbart and Murray Shisgal, directed by Sydney Pollack.


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Updated May 13, 2006