The Birdcage

on March 08, 1996 by Susan Lambert
   This feel-good family comedy with a twist is based on the 1978 French film "La Cage aux Folles." Updated and retooled by the comedy factory of Mike Nichols and Elaine May (working together for the first time in 15 years), this is fall-over funny, a hilarious tale loaded with shining performances, an elegant style and a strong emotional truth.
   Robin Williams plays Armand, a gay nightclub owner married to his own "Mrs. Doubtfire," Albert ("Jeffrey's" Nathan Lane, in an ab-fab turn), the nightclub's star. Albert and Armand share a loving, if neurotic, relationship that any straight couple would surely envy. Complications ensue when Armand's son Val ("The Fisher King's" Dan Futterman, beautiful but boring) announces his impending marriage. Enter Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest as arch-conservative, soon-to-be in-laws. The comedy comes fast and true. The film's ending is predictable and by now cliched, but the execution is just as swift as it is sharp. Starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane and Dianne Wiest. Directed by Mike Nichols. Written by Elaine May. Produced by Mike Nichols. A UA release. Comedy. Rated R for language. Running time: 120 min
Tags: sexuality, discrimination, remake, conservative, liberal, facade, romance, Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Mike Nichols, La Cage aux Folles, Elaine May

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