Any Day Now plus Thirty Years (Review)

The indie film “Any Day Now” contains none of the ingredients that the big studio films seem to insist upon.  There is little sex, no violence or special effects, and a setting that focuses on  a few years in the lives of a handful of people.

Yet the film redefines what it means to be a hero and inspires you to search for moments in your own life when you rode into battle hopelessly outnumbered, your heart at the vanguard.  For the great majority of viewers, the  heroes  of  Any Day Now make you despair that you would inevitably fall short of their example, but they also give you the formula in case you find yourself in a similar position: take a worthy cause, side with an underdog, mix in generous portions of care and commitment, and disavow the rulings of all but the very  highest courts of your conscience.

The saddest thing about this movie could easily be that a disabled child’s welfare took a backseat to politics, but for me it was saddening that this movie conveyed a sublime message to only about fifteen people on a Saturday night while thousands around the city paid to be merely amused by the blockbuster films and the trappings thereof.

The movie, which was highlighted by some wonderful acting–and Alan Cummings’ performance should land him some awards– begins in Los Angeles over thirty years ago in 1979.  It concerns the efforts of a gay couple to adopt a child with Down Syndrome after the child’s mother is taken by police on drug charges.  One of the men is an attorney, and the other is a drag singer, which makes for a dynamic contrast as they try to navigate the formal and informal systems of the city and the times.

Yet all the while the child, played by a young man who truly suffers from Down Syndrome,  is the football that gets thrown and carried and pulled toward one goal or the other.

This little film shook and rocked me. It just moved up into my top three or four films of the year.  I don’t even want to rank it right now: I might hate myself in the morning if it turns out I chose to give the edge to the heroes from another, bigger more glamorous film.




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