La Cage Aux Folles Review

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Two gay men living in St. Tropez have their lives turned upside down when the son of one of the men announces he is getting married


Hugely popular in 1979, this gay-themed Franco-Italian farce, adapted from a Paris stage hit and successful enough to produce two sequel movies and a Broadway stage musical, now looks pretty feeble.

Suave Ugo Tognazzi and shrill Michel Serrault are forced to pose as straight when Tognazzi's son by a long-ago heterosexual indiscretion wants to marry the daughter of a prominent moralist, leading to mildly funny business as the gays struggle desperately with the mysteries of non-mincing machismo.

Despite delicate performances, the lead characters never escape stereotype, and the relationship between them, which should be the emotional heart of the movie, never becomes remotely convincing even on an I Love Lucy level. Director Eduardo Molinaro even throws away the sure-fire laugh-getting finale, hurrying through the embarrassing revelations and social mishaps to get to the nothingy ending.

Has dated as the camp element becomes cliched, but still raises a smile.