An international comedy sensation based on a successful French stage play, La Cage aux Folles depicts the farcical chaos that results when a gay man attempts to pose as straight for the benefit of his son's future in-laws. Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) owns a popular nightclub and is the long-time lover of Zaza (Michel Serrault), a female impersonator who is the club's main attraction. Unfortunately, Renato's son Laurent (Remy Laurent) has told none of this to his future father-in-law, an important figure in a morally conservative political organization. Not wanting to ruin his son's chance of happiness, Renato agrees to pose as a straight man, but he finds his familiar habits, and those of the even more flamboyant Zaza, getting in the way at every turn. Zaza is the one who comes up with what he thinks is an ideal solution: he'll dress in drag and pose as Renato's wife. Naturally, the plan does not pan out as expected. La Cage aux Folles' pleasant, unthreatening comic sensibility attracted a large mainstream audience in both Europe and the United States, which was at the time unusual for a film with a homosexual theme. Indeed, the film was popular enough to inspire two remakes: a stage musical and, nearly two decades later, the Hollywood comedy The Birdcage with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman.
by Judd Blaise synopsis