La Cage Aux Folles

lacageThis is the French film that The Birdcage was based on. It is now a tried and true formula to take a European hit and redo it with American actors and American sensibilities. It works many times because only the strongest, or at least the most entertaining, foreign films get this “honor.” But it also fails because the atmosphere or the dialogue can’t be translated. With ‘Birdcage, it was a roaring success. It was a hilarious movie. Was the source material as good? I am happy to say that the answer is yes. There are plenty of belly laughs as the gay parents of a straight man try to pretend to be austere religious people when they are forced to meet the moral majority parents of their son’s fiancée. Never mind that these gay parents also own a notorious drag queen club. Or that they are obviously both male and one has to dress in drag to pretend to be the mother. The slapstick gaffes and tongue in cheek subterfuge is fantastic and will keep you smiling throughout the film. The climax is, unlike the rest of the film, filled with resolve and decency and there are no jokes about it. But it doesn’t weigh anything down – it just adds to the power of the comedy. And don’t worry, things go back to being ridiculous only moments later. If you like Three’s Company type hijinks, witty dialogue, sophomoric double entendres and juvenile sight gags, you will love, love, love this movie.

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