Directed By: Mike Nichols
Written By: Jean Poiret and Elaine May
When I was 12 years old I went to work with my dad one night at the theater. This was something I did often, while he worked I would go from theater to theater and watch movies. Well one night when I was 12 I wondered into The Birdcage not knowing anything about the film or what it was about. I might have made it four minutes into it before getting up and leaving. As soon as I realized those women dancing on stage were men dressed as women I had seen enough. I went on to tell the story of me getting up and walking out of that theater for another eight years until I was in college. I had a roommate who owned the movie and suggested I watch it, I had no idea what I was in for. Today I consider this one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and I love it.
This movie isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of small-minded people out there with very strong feelings about homosexuals. Nevertheless I challenge anyone to watch this movie and not laugh. While the characters are most definitely gay they are not doing anything offensive by any means. These are funny people put together in an outrageous scenario and what they made was a very funny film. Gene Hackman is great as Senator Keeley and Dianne Wiest is great as the joyful Republican wife. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are hilarious as two gay men trying to act straight. Hank Azaria should not go unmentioned here either, he is a very talented entertainer who has shown a lot of versatility in his career. I wouldn’t call myself a Mike Nichols fan but I have liked many of his films, like The Graduate and What Planet Are You From? Of all his films, I think this was his best, but it does have steep competition and there is a lot of room for argument there.
I fully support gay rights and equal treatment but I did not always feel that way. In a weird kind of way this movie helped me to be a more open-minded person and more accepting of other types of lifestyles. I was in college when I saw it for the first time and it was during that time that I learned to think for myself. In a psychology class I learned that homosexuality is not just a lifestyle people chose but that genetics played a part. I believe it is wrong to judge or hate someone for being who they were born to be. The way I see it whatever or whoever anybody out there chooses to be is none of my business or concern anyway. I do not see the point in getting angry or malicious about something that you cannot control and will never change anyway. The bigots and homophobes out there are wasting their time and energy on hate. Homosexuality is not a fad, it’s been part of society from the beginning of time and always will be.
I don’t know that this movie would teach everybody to be open-minded but it will definitely have even the most uncomfortable guy laughing. I consider this movie one of the funniest I have ever seen and it is one of my all time favorites. I hope you will give it a chance if you have never seen it, it is worth your time.
In college, when Ryan told me that he had never seen this movie, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that he had never seen it, when I had seen it a couple hundred times, I wasn’t sure how he was going to take it or like it. I fell asleep during the movie at some point, and while I was peacfully dreaming away I was all of a sudden awoken with laughter and the words that I will never forget…””Baby! (that’s what we call each other) Baby! Wake Up! LOOK WHAT HE IS DOING!” Those words will live on forever in our relationship. He was so shocked by the outcome of the dinner that he was urged to wake me up.
I thoroughly love this film. i really like Robin Williams in this role. I think he does an incredible job and Nathan Lane is priceless as his lover. I think this is a great movie. I don’t know if it is qualified as a movie for everyone, but if you are open-minded (which I feel everyone should be) then you would most likely like this movie and probably benefit from having watched it.
NEXT MOVIE: Black Sheep (1996)