A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be true to yourself and your loved ones. If you try to hide who you are or lie about who you are to others, you'll only make matters worse by hurting yourself and those you care about. Keep an open mind when you meet someone who seems really different or strange. We're all just people who want the same opportunities for happiness in life.
Positive Role Models
Armand and Albert are a devoted couple who have raised a son to adulthood and run a business together. There are plenty of dramatics in their relationship, but they both model care and loving support of each other and their loved ones. Senator Keeley is overly concerned with how his chances for reelection are affected by his public image and mainly wants to meet the right kind of people. Mrs. Keeley is mostly a doormat but eventually calls her husband to task for being superficial and having mixed-up priorities. Val's mother, Katherine, has been estranged from the family for 20 years but willingly comes back into their lives to help her son out of a jam.
Violence & Scariness
Early on Armand breaks down a door in a scene played for comedy. A dinner-party discussion includes a reference to killing abortion doctors. Some viewers upset by Robin Williams' death may feel a chill when his character says almost in passing that he's going to kill himself.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
South Beach-area background people are scantily clad and occasionally seen semi-nude from the back in G-string swimwear. Household helper Agador's bare bottom is seen once when he's also wearing a thong. A nightclub performer is seen grabbing his crotch in a dance number. A home is decorated with a lot of phallic artwork, and primitive statues with prominent, erect penises are seen.
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Most frequently used, about a half-dozen times, is "f--k" and variations. Other strong language used a few times each includes "a--holes," "s--t," and "fag." Used once or twice each: "bastard," "bitch," whore," "goddamn," "prick," "ass," "damn," and "son of a bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Time, People, and Newsweek magazines are mentioned once.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Armand smokes in several scenes, as does his adult son Val. Adults frequently drink champagne, scotch, and wine, including the 20-year-old son, and they're sometimes seen comedically swigging from bottles. Some scenes take place in a nightclub, and drinks are served to patrons. Armand takes a pill once with his morning coffee. Albert asks for tranquilizers before a performance, but he doesn't know that Agador's really just giving him aspirin.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Birdcage is a fun, comedic romp in an adult setting: a South Beach nightclub with a drag show. There's some strong language: "F--k" and variations are used about a dozen times; other profanity is infrequent and includes "a--hole" and "s--t." Characters are frequently seen drinking, usually with a meal or in celebration, but sometimes characters comedically guzzle from a bottle. Two characters are occasionally depicted smoking. A lot of extras in the background are scantily clad, and some phallic home-decor items are seen. Some viewers upset by Robin Williams' death may feel a chill when his character says almost in passing that he's going to kill himself. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE BIRDCAGE is a fun, comedic romp with a great ensemble cast. Robin Williams gives an understated performance as straight man to Nathan Lane, who chews the scenery with gusto. Even South Beach itself becomes a delightful character under Mike Nichols' direction, and with such a talented cast and strong material he mostly just stays out of the way. Younger teens might be drawn to the colorful, campy atmosphere, but the movie's heart is in the more adult situations. Older teens will more easily relate to the characters as they struggle with how to present themselves to the world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.