When I received the offer to see Any Day Now, I gave it a go without knowing much about the story – and went to see it with Yani. I deliberately avoided any synopsis and reviews, although I noticed that the movie was supposedly based on a true story. I also found out that the movie was originally released in 2012, so I don’t know why it’s only playing in Australia in mid-2014.
The story centres around Rudy Donatello (Alan Cumming) – a drag performer in a gay nightclub who wants to legally adopt Marco (Isaac Leyva), a 15-year old boy with Down Syndrome born to a junkie mum. Rudy and his partner Paul Fleiger (Garret Dillahunt) soon discover that it’s a tough battle for them, dealing with misconceptions and legal discrimination. The setting of the story is in the 1970s, although the issues that are brought forward by the story are very much relevant at this day and age as well.
Alan Cumming is effective as the flamboyant and cynical Rudy – and it’s no exaggeration that he carries the weight of the film on his shoulder. It’s very easy to fall in love with Isaac Leyva in the movie, especially when you see him smile. Garret Dillahunt also provides a good supporting role as a more conservative man in the relationship who has to deal with the complexities that their sexuality brings into the issue – although I was pondering throughout the movie whether he was wearing a wig or not (not the right kind of thought that I should be having while dealing with a powerful story!). Although the story is powerful, at times I was wondering whether Any Day Now was originally meant for TV or for cinematic release, due to the uneven direction and the questionable usage of props. Some of the actors are quite unconvincing in their roles as well.
However, the story did affect me emotionally – the powerful ending left me pondering about the situation. It also affected other members of the audience as many of them didn’t want to leave the cinema theatre even after the credits were shown on the screen. At home, I tried to find the true story that inspired the movie – and unfortunately I found out that the movie is really a composite of several true stories – so effectively, a work of fiction. A pity, really – in one way, I’m glad that nobody was really harmed in the process, but on the other hand I feel slightly miffed that I was deceived by the “Based on a true story” label. It’s like buying free range eggs only to find that it’s just a marketing ploy to sell the same kind of eggs.