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The Birdcage (1996)

Comedy movie directed by Mike Nichols

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Birdcage ~ Dr. Laura woulda had a fit!

  • Oct 3, 2000
Pros: Good cast of characters and great story line

Cons: ///////

Met with yet another dilemma, Mr. & Ms. Goldman must have the senator and his wife over for dinner. Generally not a problem, but Mrs. Goldman happens to be called Albert! And Mr. Goldman is Armand - the senator is a right-wing family values guy. All around, not a good mix. Throw in the fact that Albert and Armand happen to own one of the hottest drag bars in Miami and live over it - to coin a phrase - Houston, we have a problem!

Armand's son is getting married and the dinner is his introduction for the families. Realizing the idea of a gay couple just might push the senator over the edge, Armand and Albert devise a plan. They will invite the ex-Mrs. Goldman to dinner and pretend all is well. This is only after a failed attempt by Albert to appear straight - a totally hilarious scene by the way. Of course the ex-Mrs. Gets tied up in traffic and is running late, things being what they are. And why not, she hasn't been in contact with the family for years anyway.

TV news people have spotted the senator going into the home of Armand and Albert, noting it is attached to the drag bar, and a desperate attempt by all is made to escape without detection. With a little makeup and a lot of panache, the senator and wife, Albert and Armand, son and girlfriend all sneak out - of course the senator gets hit on, even though he is the ugliest woman I have ever seen!

Hey, it is just a campy little film with some good stars and a lot of laughs. If your morals cause you to shun gay people then you probably won't see the true family values that are offered in this remake of Le' Cage Aux Folles. The idea that these men, most especially Albert, will go through these trials for the love of ‘their' son is honorable.

Generally receiving poor reviews, again I swim against the stream and give it kudos! Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are not only funny beyond words, but also give a stirring performance. Gene Hackman, in a change from his usual roles as bad guy, plays a hilarious senator and Dianne Wiest his quirky wife. The daughter and bride-to-be is Calista Flockhart and the irritatingly whinny Christine Baranski is the ex-Mrs. Goldman. And let's not forget the remarkable and feisty ladies from the club!


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More The Birdcage (1996) reviews
Quick Tip by . October 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I barely liked it when it when it was in French and called La Cage aux Folles. The only reason to watch it is Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest , unfortunately there's this whole other cast of over-actors falling flat with lame jokes and lamer pratfalls.
review by . August 30, 2007
Robin Williams is an amazing actor, especially when he's playing the straight man, so to speak. After watching this last night I realize that he is the god of comic timing during the time when so many comic gay films hit the scene and the "BIRDCAGE" showcases his comedic talent in a new way for most people, by constraining it. His performance and Nichols firm direction anchor what could have been nothing more than a string of clichés. Lane plays "the woman" in their relationship, giving Williams …
review by . April 14, 2007
"The Birdcage"    Lots of Laughs    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    I usually do not like commercial comedies but "The Birdcage" is an exception. I watched it again last night and I find it absolutely amazing just how funny it is. I had already seen "La Cage Aux Folles" several times before and in all of its incarnations. Hands down, "The Birdcage" is a great remake of an already classical film. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are wonderful …
review by . June 30, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
This one of very few films which I find more entertaining each time I see it again. (The others include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Singin' in the Rain, and Young Frankenstein.) Directed by Mike Nichols, working with a script written by Elaine May, its major characters are Armand Goldman (Robin Williams), Albert Goldman when not performing as "Starina" (Nathan Lane), Senator Keeley (Gene Hackman) and his wife Louise (Diane Wiest), and Agador Spartacus (Hank Azaria). Most of those who have seen …
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About this movie


The great improvisational comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May reunited to (respectively) direct and write this update of the French comedyLa Cage Aux Folles. Robin Williams stars as a gay Miami nightclub owner who is forced to play it straight and ask his drag-queen partner (Nathan Lane) to hide out when Williams's son invites his prospective--and highly conservative--in-laws and fiancée to a meet-and-greet dinner party. Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest play the straight-laced senator and his wife, and Calista Flockhart (from television'sAlly McBeal) plays their daughter in a culture-clash with outrageous consequences. May's witty screenplay incorporates some pointed observations about the political landscape of the 1990s and takes a sensitive approach to the comedy's underlying drama. Topping off the action is Hank Azaria in a scene-stealing role as Williams's and Lane's flamboyant housekeeper, "Agador Spartacus."--Jeff Shannon
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Director: Mike Nichols
Genre: Comedy
DVD Release Date: March 26, 1997
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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