Since he departed our shores 10 years ago, Alan Cumming has become a starlet of the American theatre scene, as well as building a healthy following form hit-US show, The Good Wife. Now Cumming is back on the big screen, alongside Garret Dillahunt in Travis Fine’s emotionally engaging, and oh so glorious kitsch period- drama, Any Day Now.
We open in Los Angeles in 1979, with Cumming playing Rudy, a flamboyant drag queen that bursts dashing and tight-buttoned lawyer Paul (Dillahunt) out of the closet one night in a gay bar. Returning home after a night of saucy shenanigans, Rudy discovers Marco, a young boy with Downs Syndrome, who is chronically neglected by his drug-addled mother. After taking the young fledgling in, Rudy and Paul decide to adopt the child as their own. What ensues is an impassioned custody battle, where Rudy and Paul battle with the draconian legal system to give the boy a home.
If any film in recent months wears its heart on it’s sleeve, Any Day Now has to be a top contender. The fact that it is based on real life accounts adds further depth to what could have easily become a just another TV melodrama movie. The few quips that you could have with the film, such as the rapidity of the developing relationship between Paul and Rudy, get thrown out of the window as the tearjerking drama kicks into gear.
The issue of gay adoption feels as pertinent as ever, where we see the characters subjugated to outrageous homophobia when all they want to do is a great act of kindness towards a vulnerable boy who is cared for by no one. Cumming also is on great form that puts him miles away from his hammy performance of Russian computer whizz Boris in 1995’s GoldenEye. Dillahunt too, despite sitting in the shadow somewhat of Cumming’s fabulous performance, remains tender and pragmatic as Paul, who is perhaps the brains contrasted with Rudy’s heart. With the young Isaac Leyva is perfectly pitched in an utterly heart-breaking performance as Marco.
Unashamedly sentimental and emotive, the issues the film presents, still cut to the quick speaking of a time when society was less tolerant than today, although arguably in some parts of the world little change can be seen. Sincere and effective in its efforts, with a tremendous trio of performance telling a tale, Any Day Now gives us a robust reminder to put our hearts before our heads.