Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {Tootsie}

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1982's Tootsie tells the story of Dustin Hoffman playing a struggling actor named Michael Dorsey. He's actually an excellent actor and everyone, including his respected agent, admires his work. The problem is that he can't hold a job down because he's such a damned perfectionist and no one will hire him because he's just too difficult to work with. He's also almost 40 and hasn't had an acting job in four months.

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His friend Teri Garr has an unsuccessful audition for a role on a soap opera called Southwest General and both out of desperation and in need of raising money to put on his room mate's new play, he decides to audition himself.

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Using his skill of doing his own makeup, Michael becomes Dorothy Michaels, flunks the audition, tells the pompous director to fuck himself and is hired by the female producer.

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The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot director is played by wonderfully played by Dabney Coleman, who also played a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot executive in 9 to 5

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What makes this film great, aside from being hilarious and the hijinks that ensue from Michael working in drag and trying to maintain a personal life is that you tend to forget that Dustin Hoffman is playing Dorothy. You forget that this is a man playing Dorothy, he's just that good at it.

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My favourite character is this film is Bill Murray playing Michael's room mate. Bill Murray was a big star at this point, but he's wonderful in this small role and apparently he improvised his lines.

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Dorothy Michaels objects to most of her lines and the way her character is written, so she makes up her own lines and turns the character into a tough, well-rounded woman, which you don't normally see on soap operas. As a result she becomes America's hottest new actress.

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On the other hand, Michael falls for Dorothy's co-star and new best friend Julie, a single mother in an unhealthy relationship with the director. And Julie's widowed father falls for Dorothy.
Hilarity ensues.

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"That is one nutty hospital"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {Some Like It Hot}

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According to the American Film Institute, this is the greatest American comedy ever made. I would have to agree with that. Mostly for the punch line and more so for Jack Lemmon's reaction to it.
Set in 1929's Chicago during the days of prohibition, jazz and gangsters, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play struggling musicians Joe and Jerry. They witness the Saint Valentine's Massacre and are seen by "Spats" Colombo (George Raft who was a close friend to several gangsters) and flee for their lives. Dressing up as Josephine and Daphne, they join an all-girls band which is headed to Florida where they meet Marilyn, who plays Sugar the band's singer. Joe does an impression of Cary Grant in order to romance Sugar as a millionaire with a yacht and Daphne is romance by Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown). But then Spats and his gang turn up in Florida for a mob convention and all hell breaks loose.
The film isn't strictly historically accurate, but who cares. This is a Billy Wilder comedy at it's best!

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Another thing I love about this film is that you can tell that Tony Curtis is really playing the sax.

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"Look how she moves. It's like Jell-O on springs."

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"Just keep telling yourself: you're a girl!"

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This is actually the Hotel Del Coronado in southern California, which you can still stay in today.

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"We named the oil company after them"

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Don't you think that for 1959 this dress is terribly daring, even shocking? Actually the whole movie is rather shocking for 1959. You have the romance between Osgood and Daphne, Sugar has stated that she's lived with a few saxophone players, Joe is a womanizer and then you have this dress which doesn't leave anything to the imagination. Some Like It Hot didn't receive approval for the Production Code and was condemned by the League of Decency and was one of the films that contributed to the end of the Code. This is another excellent reason to watch this film.

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"I'm engaged"
"Congratulations, who's the lucky girl?"
"I am!"

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Best punchline ever! Mostly for the look on Jack Lemmon's face.