YMMV / The Birdcage

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Any time the Keeleys bring up a "return to family values" and other such Moral Guardian concerns, it seems to only be for the sake of the senator's public image. It's possible that, while conservative, they're not as ultra-conservative as they may let on.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Subverted. Armand valiantly declares that he won't change himself for some bigot... then immediately does exactly that.
    • A Deleted Scene (that sometimes still shows up in tv airings) has Armand go downstairs and talk to his bartender about the sacrifices parents make for their children. Which brings it back around to Awesome.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Agador Spartacus.
  • Genius Bonus: Senator Keeley calls Grover's Corners "a darn good place to call home", apparently unaware that the play it's featured in, Our Town, was written by a gay man.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Armand having to talk Albert out of killing himself. Sadly, Robin Williams didn't take his own advice.
    • Coupled with a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment near the beginning where Armand threatens to kill himself if Albert doesn't perform the main act of the show.
    • And Mike Nichols also passed away just a few months after Williams.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Reveal in the 2000s that hyper-conservative Sen. Strom Thurmond had an affair (and love child) with a black maid and that the revelation came out only after Thurmond had died.
    • Val's actor Dan Futterman would later win several awards for writing the film Capote, about the famously Camp Gay author.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: As it was one of the first, not to mention most successful, films to portray Camp Gay characters sympathetically, many openly Gay men find the movie both hilarious and relatable.
    • Hank Azaria was actually afraid that his voice for Agador would be too stereotypical, until a friend of his who was Gay told him otherwise.
  • The Scrappy: Val, to some, both because of the hell he puts his parents through for the sake of his own happiness and his general lack of personality.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Gays are people too, and can raise families as caring and loving as hetero parents. There's a reason the song "We Are Family" becomes a Leitmotif throughout the film.
  • Technology Marches On: A major part of the plot relies on the fact that this movie was made when car phones could make but not receive calls. A good part of the drama could have been...well... delayed if Katherine had a cell phone.
  • Values Dissonance/Values Resonance: An interesting mixture of the two. On the one hand, the pro-gay-rights message still resonates today. However, the views publicly expressed by the conservatives in this movie come across as much more of a Strawman Political than they did at the time. This is particularly true of the idea that conservative figures having gay relatives is a major liability, as many prominent Republicans now do (Dick Cheney's daughter, Michele Bachman's stepsister, and Phyllis Schlafly's son).
  • The Woobie: Albert. He's not only the nicest but also the most emotional character in the whole movie, and is utterly destroyed when he thinks that his family is embarrassed by him. And while it's still a funny joke, the scene of him forcing back his usual sashay while dressed in a conservative black suit (and hot pink socks) looks physically painful.