Movie review by
Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media
Tootsie Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Touching romantic comedy with a twist.
  • PG
  • 1982
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Various representations of strong women and chivalrous men, but also problematic misogynist characters (identified as badly behaved).


A few smacks across the face.


Implied sex and gay/lesbian innuendo.


Some questionable language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Heavy drinking by a main character that is identified as a problem.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tootsie touches on issues such as having children out of wedlock, alcoholism, and homosexuality (much of which is mistakenly assumed during moments of cross-dressing). While these issues may seem mature, the film uses each sparingly and as a means to illustrate growth in its characters. While the storyline puts Michael (and his alter-ego Dorothy) in compromising situations, it also leads to good clean fun and personal discoveries about respect for one's self and others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygatos February 25, 2012

Beware with Pre-teens

One of my all time favorite movies from my childhood. I had such fond memories of it so I decided to show it to my 12 and 14 year old girls. Yikes, I wish I w... Continue reading
Adult Written bydvdgirl March 3, 2019


Although it’s a head of my time well 1982 I was born in 1985 it is a great movie and fun to.
Teen, 13 years old Written byI have no username June 18, 2019


This is an amazing hilarious film!! This film is about an actor trying to make 8,000 dollars so he can publish a show with his friends. It contains mild sex and... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymwplefty April 9, 2008

Anyone would like it

I'd rate it ON 13+. It's tame and relates to other modern day movies and even a Shakespearean play.

What's the story?

TOOTSIE follows the story of Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), an out-of-work and disagreeable New York actor who disguises himself as a woman to win a plumb role in a daytime soap opera. Ultimately, Michael gets more than a steady paying job. The nation embraces his screen alter-ego Dorothy as a strong female role model. Michael quickly learns a little about what life is like for the opposite sex. As he melds his adversarial demeanor with Dorothy's on- and off-screen personae, he simultaneously finds his womanhood, manhood, and love.

Is it any good?

This is a raucously funny, yet touching film (that includes one of the best uses of a corncob in the history of motion pictures). Before Mrs. Doubtfire donned a dress, Dustin Hoffman made a splash on the big screen as Dorothy Michaels (née Michael Dorsey) in Tootsie. Aside from classic performances by Hoffman, Jessica Lange, and Teri Garr, the film features underrated turns by Bill Murray as Michael's playwright roommate and Charles Durning as a man bitten by Dorothy's feminine wiles. The humor and subject matter stand the test of time quite well. It's truly worth watching for teens and adults.

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards (including a win for Jessica Lange), the comedy entered into the feminist fray at the height of the push for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Michael's changes in attitude and treatment of women early in Tootsie versus the end. While the movie may be over 20 years old, it still has something important to say about representations of women on television.

  • How does Tootsie address themes of honesty, homosexuality, and gender equality? Parents could talk to kids about how such representations have changed or remained the same since the film's production.

Movie details

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