Any Day Now
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Any Day Now is an affecting, 1970s-set drama about gay parenting rights that has strong themes of tolerance and love. But it also deals with fairly mature issues/scenarios, including a junkie neglecting her mentally disabled son (and what happens to him because of it), a gross miscarriage of justice, and what it's like to remain closeted about your sexual orientation to keep your job. Expect some swearing ("s--t" and "damn"), drinking (at bars) and drug use, as well as a same-sex couple kissing in bed.
What's the story?
It's 1979, and Rudy Donatello (Alan Cumming) -- a drag queen and a singer who can barely support himself and pay his rent -- finds himself in the unexpected role of parent when his junkie neighbor abandons her teenage son and is arrested. Marco (Isaac Leyva) has Down syndrome, and he's frightened, hanging onto his favorite toy, a doll, for dear life. When Marco escapes from the home that Child Protective Services has left him in and returns to his apartment complex, Rudy finds him and takes care of him, with the help of Paul (Garrett Dillahunt), a closeted gay man who works at the district attorney's office as a lawyer and who, after a passionate encounter, has fallen for Rudy (and vice versa). They manage to secure temporary custody of Marco. But when others start speculating about the nature of Rudy's and Paul's relationship -- Paul has told others that they're cousins -- Marco's tenure with them, and their ability to keep him, is called into question.
Is it any good?
If you can ignore the hideous wigs and the sometimes too-on-the-nose dialogue, you may be able to spot a powerful, heart-rending movie in ANY DAY NOW. Cumming delivers what may well be his most sincere, most rooted performance yet, making Rudy a maddening, frustrating, yet likeable man with realistic issues and foibles (hot-headedness, lack of foresight). Although the movie doesn't quite explain how Marco brings out the nurturer in Rudy, we buy it. And we understand him and Paul, in part because Cumming and Dillahunt share an easy, sweet chemistry. Their low-key turns amplify the devastating issues the film brings to light, especially since custody battles like this still exist in this world today.
Given its earnest intentions, it's a shame Any Day Now has to suffer at times from seemingly low production values. Yes, the events depicted here are circa-1970s and early 1980s, but does the movie have to look and feel like it was made way back then (and not in a good way)? Still, it's worth a viewing.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how society viewed the LGBTQ community in the late 1970s. How does Any Day Now handle the topic of discrimination? Have things changed since then?
How does the film depict Marco's mother as a parent? Is she sympathetic at all?
Why weren't many people supportive of Rudy and Paul caring for Marco? Do you think things would be different if the story took place today?