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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Le Cage Aux Folles II
Directed by Edouard Molinaro
MGM Home Entertainment 02/81 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Ranto runs a transvestite nightclub. He's been living with Albin, the revue's star, for 20 years. In the 1979 film, they were put in a tizzy when Ranto's son from his defunct marriage showed up. In this sequel, the twosome are caught in a comedy of errors when Albin, dressed as a lady, is taken to a hotel by a young man who is being chased by some spies. Just before his death the man drops a roll of microfilm in Albin's pocket. Before long, some French agents have recruited our heroes to serve as lures to attract the foreign interlopers.
Edouard Molinaro directs this French farce with great élan. Michel Serrault has a barrel of fun with the antics of Albin, an aging homosexual worried about his deteriorating physical appearance and the effect it may have upon his sexual vitality and his revue performances. Some of the funniest sequences involve his role playing doing the "Blue Angel" act in blackface to elude villains, pretending to be a macho window-washer, and assuming the role of Renato's wife when they are forced to flee to Italy. Here the subservience of peasant women is given a hilarious slap in the face; it is made even more ludicrous when a burly laborer goes gaga over Albin as Renato's frumpy wife.
Ugo Tognazzi is excellent as Serrault's foil. The depth of their relationship comes to the fore in the touching finale. La Cage Aux Folles II is sure to be a big box-office hit, and deservedly so.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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