Although the gender dynamics at its heart haven’t aged well, “Tootsie” is still a lot of fun to watch. It’s interesting to view the movie from a modern perspective because Dustin Hoffman’s smug protagonist is not nearly as likable as the movie would have you believe, and there’s a noticeable hypocrisy about the treatment of women throughout. Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal’s screenplay routinely pats itself on the back about gender relations, but to a modern viewer, it’s pandering, condescending “mansplaining” at its worst. Nevertheless, Sydney Pollack is a first-class director and he manages the make the movie work, thanks in large part to a strong musical score by Dave Grusin, and terrific supporting performances by Jessica Lange, Teri Garr and a surprisingly compelling Charles Durning. It’s not as innocent as it wants to be, but there are still plenty of funny, charming moments along the way that make “Tootsie” a memorable way to spend two hours.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)