|Tootsie played by Dustin Hoffman - On the streets of NY|
I must admit that the movie “Tootsie” from 1982 is likely the most important movie I ever watched. Time Out New York has named it a "great American comedy" and possibly best film of all time according to an actors' poll.
Tootsie was significant to me because it provided fuel to a fire that had been burning inside me for a long time.
"Could a male successfully portray a person of the opposite gender?"
Long before 1982 and I adopted the name "Rhonda", the girl-inside was ever-present. I was enthralled as to how Dustin Hoffman, a rather ordinary looking guy could successfully pull off a switch. Not beautiful, but blend in on the streets of New York, get a job and exist as "Dorothy". Wow, a dream narrative; if he could, maybe I could?
According to Emanuel Levy in an article from 2006, the movie was significant on several levels.
Tootsie was the first mainstream feminist film to make a lot of money at the box-office, and, more importantly, to change the way that both men and women thought about sex roles.
Some critics have argued that Tootsie subtly changed attitudes towards the gay community, although it was not ostensibly about gay issues. However, the ramifications of Michael Dorsey's impersonation of a woman in the story suggests gay issues. For instance, in one scene Bill Murray asks Hoffman “It is just for the money isn't it It's not so you can try on these little outfits” Michael's relationship with his girlfriend Sandy becomes more and more complicated as he continues to hide his new job from her, and as Jessica Lange's widowed father (Charles Durning) falls in love with him, as Dorothy Michaels.
Hoffman wound up investing four years of his life into this idea. However, the time spent was well worth it, for Hoffman made 21 millions dollars off of the film just for himself. Acclaim for Hoffman's trying double role was unanimous, one critic typically stating that “Dorothy, as Hoffman portrays her, is one of the more interesting characters on screen in a good while.”
My beloved movie and Rhonda’s inspiration is going to become a Broadway Play. Stay tuned.