Feminism & Screwball Comedy: Why ‘Tootsie’ is One of the Finest (and Most Important) Comedies Ever Made

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In the first-season 30 Rock episode “Fireworks,” Liz Lemon and would-be beau Floyd fall asleep watching Tootsie. In their morning discomfort, Floyd awkwardly announces, “I, uh, I think Tootsie’s a very well-crafted movie.” Liz, equally uncomfortable, replies, “Yeah, they use it as an example in all the screenplay books.” As with the best of that show, it’s a moment that’s funny because it’s true — in this case, it’s literally true, Tootsie is a very well-crafted movie. But praising it solely for craft also shortchanges it a bit. The further we get from Tootsie — which is available for fresh consumption via Criterion’s recent DVD and Blu-ray special edition — the more it seems clear that it may, in fact, be the single finest comedy of all time.

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