Dress Code, called Bruno when it debuted on cable, is Shirley MacLaine's first feature as director. Like many of the movies in which she has appeared, it's a drama that uses humor to get its message across. Bruno (Alex ... more »D. Linz) is a gradeschooler who lives with his mother and likes to wear dresses. It's one more thing that makes him stand out at Catholic school. Even before his secret gets out, the other kids tease him because he's small and smart--a spelling whiz that reads the dictionary for fun with a mother that is, as he puts it, "flamboyant." His estranged father (Gary Sinise) notes that Angela also weighs 450 pounds, which makes her flamboyance even harder to miss. She means well, however, which can't be said for most of the other people in Bruno's life, with the exception of new girl, Shaniqua, who likes to dress up as well (as a cowgirl). Dress Code raises more questions than it answers (like why Angela doesn't remove her son from a school that shows him so little support), but MacLaine keeps the action moving and the cast rises to the occasion, although it would have been nice if Gwen Verdon's role had lasted more than a few seconds. It should be noted that the film contains some profanity (mostly from Bruno's tormentors), and it isn't until the end that the nuns are depicted in a less-than-negative light (including Kathy Bates as a cigarette-smoking Mother Superior). --Kathleen C. Fennessy« less
Cheryl Ann Lovelace | Detroit, Michigan | 06/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie!
I found the portrayal of the nuns to be disturbing, yet accurate, but puts the nuns in a good light in the end, with even the most harsh nun cheering for the boy in a dress at the end.Shirley MacLaine provides great subconsious contrast to the little boy who likes to wear dresses, because she is very "butch" in this movie. Shirley dresses in pants, teaches boxing, and is not afraid to fight anyone, verbally or physically. Shirley's butch look is the counterpoint of the story, as no one seems to care that Shirley takes on the male appearance and mannerisms. Thus, in my opinion, the major question this film raises, is why cant boys wear dresses, when girls can wear pants? Why are feminine attributes considered lower status, but male attributes higher status? I think the answer is that most people still think of females as being inferior, and any male that does anything feminine, wears anything femininm, is degrading himself, so it is unfavorable. Females that imitate the masculine and wear pants, are upgrading themselves, so that is acceptable. Men and women will never be truely equal, until this kind of subconsious prejudicial thinking ends.The film clearly states that the boy is not homosexual, nor does he want to be a girl. The film is harmless viewing fair. For every woman who has ever put a dress on a boy(who hasn't?), or a man, this is a movie to see. Any male who does not feel degraded in a skirt, is a male that truely sees females as equals. I have had personal experience with boys and men that like to wear dresses, and find them facinating. Happily, the story ends well, with everyone accepting a boy in a dress, the nuns redeeming themselves, and the fat woman throwing away her chocolate cake. A nice enjoyable movie in spite of its serious subject matter. A victory for womankind where feminitity is no longer considered degrading."
What a movie!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the other two reviews that this movie does send a great message to both children and adults. Alex plays an amazing little boy who is picked on at school and has a very different kind of home life. This movie shows you that everyone is unique in his or her own way, but this does not necessarily make them strange or different. Another topic touched upon in this movie is the importance of family. Family and friends are the two most important things in life and this movie makes that abundantly clear. I loved it and think that everyone should watch this heart-warming movie."
Great movie (and message) for kids and adults
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie on a flight a while back and was very impressed with the actors, the plot and the message this movie portrayed. Alex Linz is a standout as he befriends a young girl who has chosen to dress in her own individualistic style. The bullies at the private school they attend make it a challenge for him but their friendship prevails with the bullies learning their lessons. It is funny, heartwarming and sincere. It sends a a great message to be sending to our kids (as well as adults)."
Dress Code was great
Katie Flynn | Mansfield, MA United States | 03/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this movie sends a great message to everybody. Alex Linz is amazing as he plays a young boy who likes to wear dresses. He is bullied at school because he wears dresses and because his mother is overweight. But he finds a friend and makes it through the hard times and proves he can be what he wants."
Paul L. Benedetti | Bensalem, PA USA | 08/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film on HBO, or Showtime...one of those channels and thought it was just the sweetest film. Alex Linz is just too adorable and is a wonderful actor. He plays a young boy who wears dresses, but to him they are "holy vestments". His mother, a flamboyant 450 pound woman nursing a broken heart, is loving and understanding. His grandmother, played by a VERY manly Shirley Maclaine,who also directed this film, thinks both son and mother are crazy. She soon falls under the boys charms and encourages him the way she never did with her own son, the boys wayward father, played by Sinese, in a very small but important role.I love the performances in this movie. It seems that the actors are having a wonderful time and it comes across in their acting. The characters are very real and genuine. It is a bit "Afterschool Special"ish, but the strong cast and performances carry it home."