The Birdcage

1996, Movie, R, 118 mins


In this flaccid remake of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play Armand and Albert, a middle-aged couple whose life together would be a model of bourgeois domesticity if they weren't both men. They're thrown into a tizz when their son -- he's actually Armand's kid, but Albert might as well be his mother -- announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing senator (Gene Hackman) who champions "family values." The Ozzie and Harriet of the drag set agree to play it straight for a night with the prospective in-laws, and tediously predictable complications ensue. Unsurprisingly, the film rests on grotesque stereotypes of gay men (though it tries to have it both ways by flogging a simplistic plea for tolerance). What might be a surprise, given the talents involved, is how relentlessly unfunny it is. But this drag comedy is aimed squarely at middle America, where these cuddly queens should play very well -- just so long as nobody remembers that gay people don't just sing show tunes and cook delightful meals; they also have sex. leave a comment

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The Birdcage
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La Cage Aux Folles (1979) / The Birdcage (1996) (Double Take)
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