“South Beach? Is that like Palm Beach?” -Diane Wiest as Louise Keeley, in The Birdcage (1996)
If you’re from Miami, and you go to college out of state, there’s probably no question you dread more than, “Were are you from?” Florida doesn’t exactly have the best national reputation—especially among ivory tower intellectuals—and Miami is chocked full of stereotypes each more off-putting than the last.
Scarface, Fast and Furious, even scenes from the Godfather II, depict South Florida as a suburban morass, filled with louche men and women. Yet, the movie people most remember South Florida for is The Birdcage. This film has everything quintessentially Miami for anyone who’s never lived in Miami: drag queens, gay Guatemalan butlers, and neon thongs.