By Don Simpson | April 24, 2012
Director: Travis Fine
Writers: Travis Fine, George Arthur Bloom
Starring: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher, Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman, Chris Mulkey, Don Franklin, Kelli Williams, Alan Rachins, Mindy Sterling, Miracle Laurie, Michael Nouri, Jeffrey Pierce, Anne O’Shea, Louis Lombardi
Set in 1979 and inspired by a true story, Any Day Now follows the trials and tribulations of a gay couple who fight for custody of a teenager with Down syndrome. Paul (Garret Dillahunt) is a straight-laced, closeted deputy district attorney who falls in love with Rudy (Alan Cumming), a flamboyant, lip syncing drag queen. When Rudy’s drug-addled neighbor abandons her son, Marco (Isaac Leyva), Rudy takes in the Down syndrome teen; then, while petitioning for custody of Marco, Paul takes in Rudy and Marco to provide them with more stability. (In an effort to remain in the closest, Paul tells everyone that Rudy is his cousin.) It is not long before Paul, Rudy and Marco are one cohesively happy nuclear family.
Does Paul and Rudy’s sexuality have any detrimental effects on their ability to function as Marco’s guardians? No. (Marco’s favorite toy was a female doll long before he me Rudy.) In fact, for the first time in his life, Marco has loving and nurturing parents; he even begins to flourish in school. Paul and Rudy are idyllic parental figures, especially for someone with Marco’s needs.
Nonetheless, the United States is ruled by inherently puritanical (read: sexually-repressed, homophobic, narrow-minded) governing and legal bodies that do not abide people who stray from their strict interpretation of “normal.” In America circa 1979 (despite Jimmy Carter’s best efforts as President), Paul and Rudy are considered to be social deviants; they are not privy to the same rights and privileges as heterosexuals. (Though the U.S. has made some advancements in this area — such as a few states legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption — the marriage and adoption laws in a majority of U.S. states are still as ass-backwards as ever.) Needless to say, it is not long before Paul and Rudy find themselves in court, fighting for their parental rights once again.
At the root of Any Day Now is an unwavering message of treating everyone equally, despite their sexuality, gender, ethnicity, economic status or medical condition; and writer-director Travis Fine even practices what he preaches in the production of Any Day Now. Being that Hollywood prefers to cast straight actors in gay roles (in an effort to make them less real and therefore less threatening), it is refreshing to see an openly gay actor (Alan Cumming) get the lead in Any Day Now — an inspiring performance that is one of the best of his career. It is equally impressive that Fine casts an actor with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva) to portray Marco. The U.S. needs a lot more films like Any Day Now, at least until the population decides to open its hearts and minds to treat everyone equally — like true Christians — loving their neighbor and not casting judgement.