The Rewind (1990s) The Birdcage

Minor Spoilers below

The Birdcage

Genre: Comedy

Director: Mike Nichols

Starring: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Calista Flockhart, , Hank Azaria

Inspired heavily by La Cage aux Folles (1978), this is the Americanized version.

This movie about a gay couple, Armand and Albert Goldman who own a nightclub in south Florida. Armand has a son from a previous relationship with Katherine Archer.  This son, Val, happens to go to college and fall in love with Barbara, the daughter of a right-win moralistic senator.  Now with this young couple wanting to be married, they must find a way to bring the two families together for a meeting so Barbara’s parents will agree to let her wed.

I still really like this movie.  First off, it came out in the 1990s, a difficult time in America to be gay. A lot of the movement towards equality began with gusto in the late 90s. This film showed the world a star-studded cast discussing this serious issue with American culture (albeit in a light-hearted way).  It shows a committed gay couple on-screen, one is a bit more flamboyant (the stereotypical gay), while the other is more laid back. This couple has their problems like any couple, and they find ways to deal with them.  This is a comedy, but it hits on many important issues (many of which still exist today). The idea of a loving gay couple in a long-term relationship may not seem so strange now, but in the 90s many people felt it was nonexistent (some today still think it is).

Some were angered by this film, while others laughed it off.  Still, there was the option to open up a dialog about some of the things expressed within and I think for some it did that.

I still find the movie hilarious, I think Lane, Williams, Azaria, Wiest, and Hackman were all exceptional. Easily one of my favorite movies from 1996 and of the 1990s in general.


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