The Birdcage Reviews
The beauty of The Birdcage is that its jokes and its message are one and the same. These characters couldn't change themselves if they tried. And only a fool would want them to.
If The Birdcage isn't exactly the Mike Nichols-Elaine May movie of our dreams, it does manage to transform what was formerly a campy bit of French fluff into one of the loopiest, most hysterical family-values movies ever made.
Basically, the movie's an extended setup for a dinner-table comedy of errors, in which the mismatched relatives confront one another in a nerve-racking test of appearances.
What makes Mike Nichols' version more than just a retread is good casting in the key roles, and a wicked screenplay by Elaine May, who keeps the original story but adds little zingers here and there.