Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1996. United Artists. Screenplay by Elaine May, based on the screenplay by Francis Veber, Edouard Molinaro, Marcello Danon, Jean Poiret, from the play La Cage Aux Folles by Jean Poiret. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. Produced by Mike Nichols. Music by Stephen Sondheim. Production Design by Bo Welch. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Arthur Schmidt.
Hysterical adaptation of the popular French comedy classic La Cage Aux Folles isn’t as well written as the original, but is still provides plenty of good laughs. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are a couple who are delighted when son Dan Futterman appears at their South Beach home for a visit, announcing that he is getting married. The trouble is his fiancee (Calista Flockhart, right before Ally McBeal brought her fame) is the daugher of a conservative Senator (Gene Hackman), and by the time he and his wife (Dianne Wiest) get to the paternal parents’ home for a visit, Williams and Lane will have had to “straighten” the place up a bit. Getting everyone into the act, the two zany comedians change their furniture, buy a new wardrobe, put away their makeup and pretend that the sexy dance club below their apartment belongs to someone else. Everyone in the cast, down to the smallest part, brilliantly brings Elaine May’s dialogue to the screen with zest, but the writing finds itself without an ending and concludes abruptly. However, the sight of Hackman in the final scene is worth the money, and if you like a good laugh you’ll be sure to enjoy this colourful film.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Art Direction
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Nathan Lane)
Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Motion Picture Cast
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Hank Azaria); Best Supporting Actor (Nathan Lane)