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One swell reason for seeing this fresh Americanized remake of La cage aux folles—the French farce about a middle-aged gay couple—is its hilarious depiction of Pat Buchanan as played by Gene Hackman, which implies, among other things, that only a drag queen could adequately fulfill Buchanan's vision of ideal womanhood. With a screenplay by Elaine May for her old improv partner, producer-director Mike Nichols, the film tells the story of a Florida nightclub proprietor (Robin Williams) whose son becomes engaged to the daughter of an ultraconservative senator (Hackman) who wants to visit his future in-laws. This leads to frantic preparations for a dinner party at which the proprietor's drag-queen partner (Nathan Lane) winds up playing the boy's mother. This isn't the supreme masterpiece it might have been, but Nichols's direction is very polished and some of the lines and details are awfully funny.

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