A Tribute to George Gaynes Funniest Role in Tootsie

Remembering 2016 No 10

A Film Great From Finnish actor, George Gaynes.

 

I will always remember George Gaynes in his role in the Police Academy films, but it is his role in Tootsie (1982) I will remember him for.

 

Tootsie – Trailer, Les Cinémaniacs Montréal, http://www.youtube.com and pictures © Columbia Pictures

 

The next review is a film, which starred the actor, George Gaynes who passed away earlier this year. I remembered that from a time that I was researching about bizarre facts for a talk on the Finnish culture for my Finnish language course, I learnt Gaynes was born in Helsinki, when Finland was part of the Russian Empire.  Finland  gained  independence  just less than 6 months later.

Despite Gaynes playing Commandant Lassard in all of seven the Police Academy movies (1984-94), it is Tootsie (1982), that I will always remember him for. In this comedy, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an unemployed actor who is seen as difficult to work with. Dorsey attends an audition with his girlfriend Sandy (Teri Garr) for a soap opera and she is not successful. Dorsey then decides to go for another part on the show as Emily. Dressed up as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, he secures the role and his portrayal of the character is a huge success. Dorsey plans to fund a play written by his flatmate Jeff (Bill Murray). The cast and crew believe he is an actress. Complications arise when after he has broken up with Sandy, Dorsey falls for Julie (Jessica Lange) his co-star, who is dating the director (Dabney Coleman). However things get even more complicated as he gets closer to Julie, she falls for him still believing he is Dorothy which confuses her. To add to the mayhem Les, Julie’s father and Dorothy’s co-star, John Van Horn (Gaynes) also fall for “her” with both men make amorous advances on a number of occasions…

Gaynes is a joy to watch, with you feeling almost sorry his love won’t be requited as he pursues Dorothy relentlessly. His reaction when the truth about Dorothy is revealed is priceless. It is bizarre to see these men finding Hoffman in a frock attractive, but as Dorsey says he feels he can be a much better woman than he has been a man which may explain it. This film was mercilessly parodied in Family Guy (1999-) –  including the film’s soundtrack – with playing Stewie as Dorsey. I’m now hoping for Finnish TV will show this gem of a film again but sadly its that Finnish American, Matt Damon season coming soon with the Bourne Trilogy (2002-07). Again.

 

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