For, Friday, April 24, 2015

It’s tough being a woman in the 1980s, especially when you’re a man.

That’s just one of the lessons Dustin Hoffman learns in the insightful and delightful “Tootsie” (1982, PG), one of the best comedies of that decade (or any of the subsequent decades), and it’s back on the big screen as part of Cinemark Theaters’ latest cycle of classics.

You can see it on Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m., or on Wednesday, April 29, at 2 or 7 p.m.


        Dustin Hoffman, left, Teri Garr, Sydney Pollack, 'Tootsie'

If you need a refresher, “Tootsie” stars Dustin Hoffman as an aggressive, difficult, chauvinistic New York actor whom no one will hire.

When he takes his girlfriend (Teri Garr) to a soap opera audition, he finds that one of the show’s stars has taken a stage role he yearned for. In anger, he goes home, makes himself up as a woman, returns to the soap auditions — and wins a female role.

In some ways “Tootsie” is just another variation on “Charley’s Aunt” or “Some Like It Hot,” but the clever (and surprisingly clean) script is smart and witty without ever going for cheap gags. As directed by Sydney Pollack, this is high-class comedy of a sort we seldom see these days.


               Jessica Lange, left, Dustin Hoffman, 'Tootsie'

And although the film belongs to Hoffman, whose female impersonation is quite remarkable, there are lots of juicy bits for the other actors, who, in addition to Garr (an Oscar nominee for this film), include Jessica Lange, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Geena Davis and unbilled Bill Murray, who has some of the best lines (which may be adlibs).

If you’ve never seen “Tootsie” on the big screen, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of this opportunity. You’ll laugh much more than you would watching it at home where there are distractions aplenty.