The Birdcage

Published October 6, 2019

The Birdcage

Film info

  • Title The Birdcage
  • Director Mike Nichols
  • Year 1996
  • Run time 1hr 59m
  • Genre Comedy
  • Tagline Come as you are

In this contemporary American adaptation of the 1978 outrageous French farce La Cage Aux Folles, the story centres on the life of a middle-aged, flamboyant gay couple - Armand and Albert - in the eclectic community of South Beach, Florida, who have raised a straight son. The son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing US senator, and wants to bring his fiancee and her ultraconservative parents home to meet his family for the first time. What choice is there but to accept his decision with love! So Armand and Albert must pretend to be very straight by attempting to play out the roles of your typical heterosexual husband and wife! Easier said than done...

Live blog

Time Comment
1:59 I wonder how many films start with that zooming in across the water to the beachfront thing.
3:37 Oof, another reminder not to eat in restaurants.
7:41 “I made you short?”
14:14 I feel like hiding someone in the apartment above the stage is not the best idea.
17:30 “Let’s drink a toast to this catastrophe.”
25:33 Crazy to have actually commissioned a painting of yourself and hung it in your house!
27:58 The size of these American houses!
33:24 “Try more gum.”
42:18 God, Robin Williams is so good.
43:16 “Do me a favour, Val, don’t talk to me for a while.”
52:02 Someone on the street just got hit by a load of toast.
58:45 I like that she doesn’t even know how old he is.
1:08:23 “What does it matter? Take it all!”
1:13:26 “I never wear shoes because they make me fall down.” This is a concern.
1:16:21 He fell down!
1:26:30 National Enquirer, that explains a lot.
1:37:17 “I’ve got to get back out there before they eat enough to see the bottom of the bowl.” Weird sentence.
1:45:15 Literally lied about every single thing.
1:52:07 They all look really different!


I absolutely adore this film. First of all, the dream pairing of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane is mind-blowing, and then when you layer on top of that they are playing a wonderful, if high-maintenance gay couple, you’ve got everything you need - the rest of the story is almost incidental. It feels like it’s ahead of its time but also does feel quite 90s in places. The things these people are wearing on the beach!

I did find it frustrating that the son and daughter were so intent on making them go ahead with the fraud, but you just have to accept that and go with the flow because everything around it is hilarious.

It gets more and more farcical but comes to a really good, happy ending where everyone gets along - hooray!

Rating: 5 / 5

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