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The Birdcage
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The Birdcage More at IMDbPro »

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This is a superb comedy which rates the perfect ten.

Author: katesedgwick from England
3 December 2000

Nathan Lane gives an OSCAR winning performance as Albert, Robin William's partner.This is a great vehicle for Williams,who I think puts in one of his BEST performances. Don't believe anyone who says this is dated.It is timeless ,universal in meaning.The casting of every part is perfection right down to the 'butler.' The sets,the lighting are atmospheric.Gene Hackman is just right as a hypocritical candidate for the senate.NO ONE goes over the top.The essence of comedy is within.There is slapstick,innuendo, the timing of everyone is impeccable.I danced around my living room and wanted to book flights to Miami when I'd seen it. It doesn't 'live'in the nightclub scenes which could have swamped the story.There are too many set pieces which were fabulous to mention. The way this has transferred from stage and the French to film and the US is a triumph. Kate Sedgwick Dec 2000

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Quite Funny

Author: (paul_mampilly@hotmail.com) from Essex, England
3 August 2000

I saw this movie recently and I thought that it was quite funny, nothing brillant. The plot was of the same as Les Cages Aux Folles. Robin Willams plays a homosexual club owner who plays it straight for a day to impress his son's future in laws. Gene Hackman, plays the ultra conservative Senantor who is in a scandal, has to go to and meet his future son in law's family. But the icing on the cake was Nathan Lake's acting as the camp transvestite, who is Robin Willams lifelong partner in the movie. His acting was very funny however it seemed to be a bit over the top. This is an ok movie

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Gene Hackman, in drag, singing `We Are Family' has to be one of the funnier moments in movies

8/10
Author: Duane A. Neitzel from Richland, Washington
27 July 2000

`Birdcage, The' ***1/2. (1996, USA, R, 117 min. Directed by Mike Nichols with Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria). Val (Dan Futterman) and Barbara (Calista Flockhart) are college students. They're in love and are going to get married. But first they have to go home and announce their intentions to their parents. Barbara's parents are Senator and Mrs. Kevin Keele (Hackman and Wiest). Val's parents are Armand and Albert Goldman (Williams and Lane). Senator Keele is cofounder of the Committee for Moral Order and running for reelection on a right wing political ticket. Armand is the owner of a drag queen nightclub in South Beach, Florida. The star of the nightclub is Sabrina/Albert, Armand's significant other. With this stage set, Val and Barbara plan to have their parents meet and plan the wedding. Of course Barbara can't tell her parents the truth about Armand and Albert. So Barbara tells her parents that Armand is a cultural attaché to Greece and his mom is a housewife. Val has to ask his dad to send Albert away for the weekend and play it straight for the family dinner. Of course, nothing goes as planned. The results are a very funny movie. But, the real fun in watching `The Birdcage' is the acting. Robin Williams is the straight man. Remember he's playing a 50-year old, gay owner of a drag queen nightclub and father of the groom. Williams never misses a beat. One minute he's trying to keep the peace between Sabrina and a gum chewing toy-boy as they practice the next night's show and the next he's an understanding father to his 20-year old son. Lane plays the stereotypical gay drag queen perfectly. And when he has to step up and be Val's politically conservative, housewife mom it's wonderful. Senator Keele never suspects for a moment that he's dancing with a woman. Azaria does a half Lucy, half Ricky butler/maid that's great. But the prize goes to Hackman. As a rightwing politician he didn't break any new ground but when Senator Keele has to mingle with the drag queen crowd to avoid being caught on camera in South Beach, he is funny. Gene Hackman, in drag, singing `We Are Family' has to be one of the funnier moments in movies. `The Birdcage is available on video. Rent it for a really good time at the movies.

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Gay Paree visits south Florida.

8/10
Author: David Masters (Wolfie-9) from Wilton, NH
17 July 2000

A lot of American remakes of European movies don't make it... they lose something in the translation. Not this one.

A remake of "La Cage Au Folles" (literally, "The Birdcage"), this film combines humor, chemistry, acting and plot.

Williams and Lane work perfectly together, bringing a chemistry to the screen that you'd expect of an actor and his leading lady... er, nevermind.

Except for one spot - Williams doing his strange dance routines - the humor isn't forced, but flows freely. Comedic timing is wonderfully implemented, and none of the characters is played over the top for laughs... though they get plenty.

Azaria really steals the show as the very strange houseboy, and even Flockhart seems human. It is, in fact, the straight man - played by Hackman - that seems just a bit overdone... everyone else blends perfectly.

I suppose you could actually call this a romantic comedy...

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The Birdcage: A comedy for the '90s and beyond

8/10
Author: gerry-russell-139 from United States
7 March 2000

For a raucous, outrageously good laugh, see "The Birdcage"-- director Mike Nichols hilarious take on the famed "La Cage aux Folles". Not directly based on the original (but with a similar main plot) this version tells the story of a gay couple, Armand and Albert Goldman (Robin Williams and Nathan Lane--in a role he should have been Oscar-nominated for) who own a drag club along the Florida coastline with Lane playing drag as the star (aka "Starina") receive startling news from Williams' son, Val (Dan Futterman), that he is getting married to the daughter of a die-hard conservative narrow-minded couple (2-time Oscar winners Gene Hackman & Diane Wiest) who are still clinging to the family values and make a subtle hint about being against Jews . The daughter, Barbara, is portrayed by a pre-Alley McBeal Calista Flockhart and they are planning to come meet the Goldman's for dinner under the impression fabricated by Val and Barbara that their last name is COLEman instead of Goldman. Therefore, Armand and Val feel that they should play it straight but Albert is too obvious so he must be sent away. An attempt is made to invite Val's mother, Catherine (played perfectly by "Sybil"'s Christine Baranski), to dinner and instead of sending Albert away he could pose as Val's uncle. Unfortunately, Catherine is stuck in traffic and can't make it on time so at the last minute, Albert suddenly appears dressed as Mrs. Coleman. To find out what happens you'll have to watch the film. The supporting cast is a riot (particularly Hank Azaria as the Goldman's "maid" Agador--a native of Gutatmala--another one who should have been nominated for an Oscar). You have got to see this film. It is one side-splitting flick.

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Touching and hilarious love story with a gay vs. conservative Romeo and Juliet twist at the end

Author: Michael Deasy (mdeasy@energy.twc.com) from Tulsa, Oklahoma
24 February 2000

The Bird Cage is one of my favorite movies of all time. The truth about this movie, underneath the drag queens, beyond the endless gay humor, is an extremely touching love story.

Robin Williams is brilliant as the club owner and aggressive partner in the relationship that he has with Nathan Lane (the less aggressive partner). I started to call Robin Williams the dominant partner, but that is not necessarily the case here (or in any relationship, homo or hetro). That is, in fact, a good deal of the humor of this movie. At one point, Robin Williams describes Nathan Lane's character by saying that `Albert is practically a breast'. This is describing his nurturing characteristics and extreme sensitivity to his female side…He loves the strong Turkish coffee that their hilarious house-man (played by Hank Azaria) makes, he does the shopping, he is a chocoholic, he faints, he delightfully swishes his way through scene stealing scene after scene. And way deep at the heart of it all he is a wonderful husband/wife and mother/father to Robin Williams and his son.

What makes the movie so outrageous is not the wonderful caring relationships, but that they take place in the midst of a notorious drag club. In fact that is just sort of the way that the couple makes a living, a very comfortable living. The son (Dan Futterman) comes home from College announcing that he is going to get married, ironically to the daughter of an archconservative Senator played by Gene Hackman. In one of his funniest roles, Hackman is surrounded by conservative humor delivering lines about the Pope and Billy Graham as both too controversial and liberal.

Well obviously with that attitude trouble was brewing for these love struck kids. The movie climaxes with a visit from the Senator and his wife to the home of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, and the movie ends with the same sort of manic humor we saw with movies like `The Party', ending with a surprising and funny twist.

This one is for lovers only.

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Wonderful comic film that deserves more credit than it gets.

Author: (allenmike@tir.com) from Michigan, USA
23 February 2000

"The Birdcage" is a fantastic film full of wonderful comic moments that cause a person to burst out in hysterical laughter. The plot of two gay men trying to put on false heirs in order to impress their son's fiance's father and mother is written well and acted to, what I believe, to be comic perfection. Robin Williams is incredibly subdued in his role as Armand, playing the straight man to Nathan Lane during most of the movie. Nathan Lane is a bit too manic, but, nevertheless, manages to pull most of the laughs as a feminine drag queen. Gene Hackman is wonderfully blubbering in his role as a senator, Dianne Weist is charming as an oppressed housewife to the senator, and Hank Azaria STEALS the show as a gay butler trying to play it straight by doing a "Sparticus" impression.

Now, the film has gotten a lot of slack because it can't compete with it's original, French version "La Cage Aux Folles." This is true that "La Cage..." is the funnier of the two, but it doesn't detract from "The Birdcage" at all. Plus, an English version of "La Cage..." is so much funnier than a version in French with subtitles. In general, "The Birdcage" is a wonderful film that commands viewings again and again.

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YOU WILL LAUGH YOUR BUTT OFF!

10/10
Author: vasquirrel from Wash DC
19 January 2000

This movie is just funny - and the more times you watch, the better it gets. Anyone who says it is an "outdated farce" has no sense of humor! I can watch this everyday and it never gets old! The point is the characters are supposed to be way over the edge. If you just want to laugh and laugh more - watch this movie!

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A wonderful comedy, where despite all, family values are enhanced...

10/10
Author: Martín Alejandro Carmona Selva from Buenos Aires, Argentina
17 November 1999

Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane..., Agador (Spartacus), Val, Barbra, Katherine... Too many names, a single story. This movie moves around a family (yes, they are a family) and the problems they have to pass when meeting their sons girlfriend and her conservative family. A comedy that, first of all, enhances the family values, the loyalty, and shows you that, sometimes, a family is not what you think it is. A masterpiece of comedy...

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"One of the funniest ever!!

Author: Adriane Simo (adriane7@mindspring.com) from chandler, az
17 August 1999

This movie is hilarious! Robin Williams and Nathan Lane (who is absolutely perfect in his role) deliver some of the funniest performances of their careers in this comedy about mistaken identity & "playing it straight". Hank Azaria is also hilarious as Agador, their housemaid. Performances are great all around,I still laugh hysterically when I watch it today! Rent today!

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