10 Best Mike Nichols Films

10. The Birdcage

In a lot of ways, The Birdcage was ahead of its time as a mainstream Hollywood film. It revolves around a young man who brings his fiancée€™s conservative family home to meet his parents. There€™s only one issue: he was raised by a pair of gay men, and he€™s worried that the truth will be too much for his staunchly Republican in-laws to handle. So he brings his estranged biological mother back into the fold to fake a picture-perfect nuclear family with his biological father, while his adopted father is relegated to the role of eccentric uncle. Yes, there are some tired gay stereotypes (mostly in the form of Nathan Lane€™s entire persona and Hank Azaria as their flamboyant housekeeper), but most of the film comes from a place of real honesty. As wacky as Lane and Robin Williams are in the movie, it was actually pretty revolutionary to show a loving gay couple who were able to raise a well-adjusted son together.
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Audrey Fox is an ex-film student, which means that she prefers to spend her days in the dark, watching movies and pondering the director's use of diegetic sound. She currently works as an entertainment writer, joyfully rambling about all things film and television related. Add her on Twitter at @audonamission and check out her film blog at 1001moviesandbeyond.com.