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Brad William Henke
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In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple takes him in and becomes the family he's never had. But once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. Written by
Any Day Now is a moving film about a gay couple who tries to adopt a displaced and lovable adolescent with Down Syndrome, (Marco). The story, set in West Hollywood in 1979, is meant to be relevant today, because it addresses gays on parenting, which the film confronts, but in an odd way. That's because this is a film about love at first sight. You would think this about a stable and well to do couple who decide to adopt, not so. The first scene finds Allan Cummings, (Rudy), playing a drag queen in a dimly lit dive bar. A well-dressed and sad looking man, Paul, sits down by himself. The two light up when they make eye contact. They fall in love. Then they take to Marco. Paul turns out to be in law. The two move in together and get custody of the child all within a few days. It's an unlikely family, an instant family, and it's based on a true story.
The film does come off, at least initially, as a bit preposterous. Why would this prominent lawyer go for a drag queen who can barely pay rent? Perhaps it's to emphasize the point that we don't know what makes people fall in love. And why would they risk everything to adopt this child with no future? Our heroes have a the gift of empathy, one wouldn't think that you would have to fight for your right to exercise it, but that's the main conflict here as they go to court for permanent custody. It's the story of a couple fighting against a world half stuck in dark ages that wants to destroy their family so they can salvage the prehistoric traditions they're holding onto. It's amazing how far we have come in the past thirty three years
Any Day Now is not a perfect film. The acting falls flat on occasion, at times you might not understand motives and some character development seems premature. That said, this is a pertinent work that gets stronger as you watch it. It also grows with you after leaving the theater. The test audience I sat with was in sync with laughter and tears. And yes, some even stayed through the credits.
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