Birdcage, The
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

THE BIRDCAGE is adapted from the mother of all cross-dress extravaganzas, "La Cage Aux Folles." "Folles" is the French word for madness or insanity, an apt description of this film. A homosexual couple, Armand and Albert (Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, respectively) learn that Armand's son, Val, is getting married. Armand owns The Birdcage, a gay nightclub, and Albert is its star "drag queen" performer. The bride-to-be's parents, Senator and Mrs. Keeley (Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest), are coming to visit Val's mother and father. Albert impersonates Val's mother, and the Senator thinks she/he's just a "lovely hometown girl" that is, until Albert's wig turns askew and the whole plan unravels. With Mike Nichols directing and Elaine May writing the script, it is not surprising that THE BIRDCAGE makes the most of a supposedly funny situation.

The blatant theme of THE BIRDCAGE that homosexuality is just another lifestyle will offend those of us who believe what the Bible says on the subject. Albert's effeminate dress and mannerisms, in fact, are more disgusting than funny. The Senator is head of the "Moral Coalition" and his partner has just died in the bed of a prostitute. Further, Christian and moral bashing includes an offensive display of a huge crucifix on the wall of the gay nightclub. Although no sex is shown, a gay man refers to trying to have sex with a woman. Also, sex is implied between Armand and Albert and their housekeeper whose every conversation is filled with sexual innuendoes. The dialogue also includes many profanities and obscenities. Violence is mostly slapstick with no serious injuries. Making light of such a serious moral and social problem as homosexuality is extremely distasteful.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey
Distributor: MGM/UA Dist., 2500 Broadway St Santa Monica CA 90404-3061

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 11, Moderate 6
Obscene Language: Many (12) times - F-word 6, s-word 5, other 1
Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular 3 (GD), Exclamatory 7
Violence: Few times - Moderate (man breaks door down; mostly slapstick falls and hits)
Sexual Intercourse: None, but gay man refers to sex with woman
Nudity: Rear male and female nudity on beach; Near nudity (scantily clad outfits, low-cut dresses)
Homosexual Conduct: Homosexual theme throughout film (homosexuals in drag; lifestyle promoted as acceptable; reference to three homosexuals having sex; Senator ends up dressing in drag)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (girl admits to sleeping with boyfriend; cross-dressing servant speaks in sexual innuedoes; dishes decorated with images of nude boys)
Drug Abuse: Social drinking and smoking
Other: Morality and Christianity ridiculed; image of Crucifix hangs in gay nightclub
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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