Line: Don’t apologize to me for being three hours late!
Context: Michael is three hours late for dinner with Sandy because when Julie asked Dorothy to run lines with her, Michael forgot he had a previous engagement. When he finally does arrive, Sandy greets him with an appropriately tart, “The dinner’s burned,” but when Michael convinces her he’s not having an affair with the woman she saw enter his apartment (Dorothy) quickly dissolves into apologies for having extended the invitation to her old friend and new lover at all.
Sandy: I should never have people over. They never show up. I’m sorry. Now I feel guilty, you feel guilty. I’m sorry.
Ladies, why do we understand this line at all? Why are we not as mystified as Michael that it has to be expressed? Because we reflexively assume responsibility for any problems in a new relationship because otherwise he might feel bad and leave us and we’ll be alone and it will be ALL OUR FAULT because we should have just been a little more tolerant and less judgmental about that woman we saw go into his house (for example) and then we’d be married and happy and secure forever but noooo we had to go and say something and now it’s over over over, so enjoy your solitude forever, loser.
Honestly. If you’ll forgive the expression, we simply must man up. Tootsie is primarily about a man learning to be a better man by living as a woman, but can it not also be about women picking up some manly virtues? Which do not include remorseless cheating. But which should certainly include discerning bullshit (see Lesson Sixteen) and acting on it (Lesson Three)—though in a more diplomatic, feminine fashion. For more on that, we learn from Rita Marshall and her ilk (we’re looking at you, Queen Martini).