Tootsie is a 1982 comedy film.
- Dustin Hoffman - Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels
- Bill Murray - Jeff Slater
- Jessica Lange - Julie Nichols
- Teri Garr - Sandra "Sandy" Lester
- Dabney Coleman - Ron Carlisle
- Sydney Pollack - George Fields
Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a respected but perfectionist actor. Nobody in New York wants to hire him anymore because he is difficult to work with. According to his long-suffering agent George Fields, Michael's attention to detail and difficult reputation led a commercial he worked on to run significantly over-schedule, because the idea of a tomato sitting down was "illogical" to him. After many months without a job, Michael hears of an opening on the popular daytime soap opera Southwest General from his friend and acting student Sandy Lester, who tries out for the role of a hospital administrator Emily Kimberly but does not get it. In desperation, and as a result of his agent telling him that "no one will hire you", he dresses as a woman, auditions as "Dorothy Michaels" and wins the part. Michael takes the job as a way to raise $8,000 to produce a play, written by his roommate Jeff Slater and to star Sandy, titled Return to Love Canal. Michael plays his character as a feisty, feminist administrator, which surprises the other actors and crew who expected Emily to be (as written) another swooning female in the plot. His character quickly becomes a television sensation.
When Sandy catches Michael in her bedroom half undressed (he wanted to try on her clothes in order to get more ideas for Dorothy's outfits), he covers up by professing he wants to have sex with her. They have sex despite his better judgment about her self-esteem issues. Michael believes Sandy is too emotionally fragile to handle the truth about him winning the part, especially after noticing her strong resentment of Dorothy. Their relationship, combined with his deception, complicates his now-busy schedule. Exacerbating matters further, he is strongly attracted to one of his co-stars, lovely, soft-spoken Julie Nichols, a single mother in an unhealthy relationship with the show's amoral, sexist director, Ron Carlisle. At a party, when Michael (as himself) approaches Julie with a pick-up line that she had previously told Dorothy she would be receptive towards, she throws a drink in his face. Later, as Dorothy, when he makes tentative advances, Julie—having just ended her relationship with Ron per Dorothy's advice—confesses that she has feelings about Dorothy which confuse her, but is not emotionally ready to be in a romantic relationship with a woman.
Meanwhile, Dorothy has her own admirers to contend with: older cast member John Van Horn and Julie's widowed father Les. Les proposes marriage, insisting Michael/Dorothy "think about it" before answering; he leaves immediately and returns home to find co-star John, who almost forces himself on Dorothy until Jeff walks in on them. John apologizes for intruding and leaves. The tipping point comes when, due to Dorothy's popularity, the show's producers want to extend her contract for another year. Michael finds a clever way to extricate himself. When the cast is forced to perform the show live, he improvises a grand speech on camera, pulls off his wig and reveals that he is actually the character's twin brother who took her place to avenge her. Sandy and Les, who are all watching at home, react with the same level of shock as the cast and crew of the show, with the exception being Jeff, who simply remarks, "That is one nutty hospital!" The revelation allows everybody a more-or-less graceful way out. Julie, however, is so outraged that she slugs him in the stomach in front of the cast once the cameras have stopped rolling before storming off. Some weeks later, Michael is moving forward with producing Jeff's play. He awkwardly makes peace with Les in a bar, and Les shows tentative support for Michael's attraction to Julie. Later, Michael waits for Julie outside the studio. Julie resists talking but finally admits she misses Dorothy. Michael confesses, "I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man." At that, she forgives him and they walk off, Julie asking him to lend her a dress.
- "That's All" - Les
- "Mary's a Grand Old Name" - Les
- "I'll Know" - John