Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Run Time: 1 hours 37 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher, Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman
Written by Travis Fine & George Arthur Bloom
Directed by Travis Fine (The Space Between, The Ride, The Others)
The thin line between overemotional preaching and heartfelt story-telling is toyed with in Travis Fine's Any Day Now. It is very loosely based on a true story about a boy with Down syndrome who is abandoned by his mother and the custody battle that follows when he is taken in by a gay couple.
Set in 1979 before life outside the closet was deemed socially acceptable, Any Day Now reflects our modern-day issues as well. Homosexuals are still denied rights even though there is no constitutional basis for the bias. The film attempts to show how personal moral beliefs cloud our better judgement. Shouldn't a kid have every opportunity to be loved? Or does it depend on the sexual orientation of the person offering the love?
Alan Cumming plays Rudy, a flamboyant drag queen and performer who meets the more reserved recently-divorced lawyer, Paul (Garret Dillahunt), one night after a gig. In Rudy's beat-down apartment complex, he comes across young Marco (Isaac Leyva) who is left by himself when his drugged-out mother is incarcerated.
Rudy takes Marco under his wing and tries to care for the boy. He feels that they are kindred spirits, both on the fringes of acceptable society. When it is discovered that the boy is in the care of two gay men, the courts, social services and society itself are outraged and they work quick to take Marco out of their care, for fear of him actually getting confused and thinking that their lifestyle may actually be "normal."
Any Day Now is about as procedural as it goes when it comes to these kind of custody battle movies. Director Travis Fine pours on the schmaltz and makes conscious efforts to tug at our heart-strings, including scenes where the main characters cry as they watch old movies on a projector. The story and the film go exactly where we would expect. If not for Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt (and Isaac Leyva, too) this could have been a Lifetime special.
But their performances turn Any Day Now into effective, if not life-altering, territory. Movies about injustice always ring relevant, because in many cases these atrocities are still happening in current times. It forces us to look back and wonder how people could be so uninformed, so misguided, and then it's shocking to think that these things weren't happening all that long ago. In fact, they're still happening today.
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