Tuesday, October 30, 2018
"The Birdcage": recalling "We Are Family" indeed
Actor Reid Ewing just now, on Twitter, did an impersonation of Florida senator Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman) from “The Birdcage” (MGM/UA), a co-founded or the Committee of Moral Order, right out of the mouth of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It's based on the play by Jean Poiret.
I remember seeing this gay comedy directed by Mike Nichols in 1996 (at the old NEI in Merrifield VA, now replaced by the Angelika Mosaic), which starts with a boat goes across a sound toward Miami Beach, with “We Are Family” playing in the soundtrack. Gay cabaret owner Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) and his gender fluid lover Albert (Nathan Lane) have a son they have raised, from Albert is heterosexual days (Paul Rosenfels used to say that most transvestites are straight). The son Val (Dan Futterman) will get married, and the Senator and wife (Dianne Wiest) will invade South Beach.
The film has a lot of satirical moments, pre gay marriage but when gay parenting was happening more. In one scene, a Louise teases Robin Williams’s hairy chest (remember “Mrs. Doubtfire’?) and also mentions gays in the military (this film was made during Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask don’t tell”.