why do you drink so much?

Lesson Two

Line:  "Because it's not fattening and it's not good for me.  How many things can you say that about?"

Context:  Dorothy is running lines with Julie.  The script line Dorothy reads is, "Why do you drink so much?"  The scripted answer is, "When you grow up as I did, an orphan raised by a sister years older...you have few illusions." 

Dorothy then reprises the line because Julie really does drink A LOT.  She answers, "Because it's not fattening and it's not good for me.  How many things can you say that about?" 

Usage:  Please.  When NOT to use this line?

Expanded to include:  Julie is the unfunny lynchpin of Tootsie, an unsuspecting woman who becomes the stakes in Michael’s deception.  She’s mirrored in his friend Sandy whom Michael seduced then neglected; and as Michael begins to empathize with Julie’s problems he recognizes his own shabby treatment of Sandy.  But from the beginning Sandy intuited that he was unreliable (“Am I ever going to see you again?” she asks as he leaves her bed), and she pleads with him throughout the movie to be frank with her.  Sandy somewhat knowingly put her pride on the line with Michael; Julie had no idea she was risking her heart.  After all, she was just confiding in a girlfriend. 

There are not teetotalers in Tootsie, but Julie is the only character defined by alcohol.  She drinks at work, she drinks at home, the first time she asks Dorothy out socially it’s for a drink, and the in first story she tells about her dad (after she’s had a lot to drink) he is drunk.  A significant number of her scenes have a wine bottle in them somewhere.  She uses alcohol as protection from the sorrows in her life and as a weapon against its aggravations—when Michael hits on her at a party she throws a drink in his face. 

Julie’s fondness for the demon booze is paralleled in her disastrous taste in men.  She thrills in bad decisions, and when she has a buzz on it’s easier to make them.  It’s also easier to be witty about them.  She makes some piquant remarks sober (as we’ll see in lessons six and eleven), but she’s not naturally funny.  Sandy is funny, Julie is sad.  Not that the two adjectives are incompatible, but when those qualities are embodied by Terri Garr and Jessica Lange respectively the impact is dramatically different.  Michael is more moved by seeing Julie hurt than he is by seeing Sandy angry.  Too bad for Sandy, I guess. 

Now, where’s that bourbon?

Lesson Three:  “Tips.  It’s ‘tips.’” and “Not with me as Tolstoy."

Lesson One:  “It would be hilarious.”

Contact Cobra.