Fueled by powerful lead Alan Cumming, the ’70s-set family drama Any Day Now delivers a double-whammy of heartfelt storytelling and engaging performances. The cast propels this likable, poignant melodrama to a very enjoyable experience.

The Players

  • Director:  Travis Fine
  • Writers: Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom
  • Cast: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher, Gregg Henry, Kelli Williams and Alan Rachins
  • Cinematography by: Rachel Morrison
  • Producers: Travis Fine, Kristine Fine, Chip Hourihan, Liam Finn and Anne O’Shea (EP)

The Plot:

Inspired by a true story, Any Day Now tells a story of love, acceptance, and creating your own family. In the late ’70s, when Marco, an abandoned teenager with down syndrome, is taken in by committed couple Rudy and Paul, he finds the family he’s never had. However, when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by the authorities, Rudy and Paul must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they’ve come to love as their own.

The Good:

  • Alan Cumming: He delivers mightily in the film as the cross-dressing singer. It’s certainly a career highlight. Already a noteworthy performance on the festival circuit, Cumming might be headed for more acclaim as awards season revs up. His sassy character’s connection to the sweet Marco feels genuine from the get-go.
  • T. Rex: The legendary Marc Bolan (aka T. Rex) makes an appearance by way of two excellent songs: “Buick Mackane” and “Telegram Sam”.
  • Music and More: In general, the film’s music is pretty terrific. An irresistible trio of tunes like Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, “Green Haze” from Miles Davis, and Funkadelic’s “Super Stupid” helps set the mood of 1970s Los Angeles.
  • Sad Eyes: Heartstrings, prepare to be pulled. Rather, make that yanked! Yes, there are going to be some tears because the subject matter is intense that by the end one is ready to stand up and join the cause. These are characters to root for.
  • Isaac Leyva: The kid likes doughnuts! Leyva holds his own nicely on screen as part of the film’s main trio.
  • Director’s Chair: Kudos to Travis Fine for crafting a truly compelling film. You smile and feel good one minute, then the next you’re pissed off at what’s happening and want to jump through the screen to help.
  • Best Line: Marco: “I like happy endings….”
  • Best Moment: There are numerous, but one that gets the eyes weepy centers on Marco. When he’s standing in his room with Rudy and Paul and asks, “Is this my home?” Once he starts crying, forget it. Grab tissues immediately.

The Bad:

  • Pour Some Schmaltz On Me: Depending on the level of schmaltz one allows themselves to embrace per movie-going experience probably determines who will love this film. Who will kind of like it, and who will despise it due to its pool of sopppy melodrama? It’s a toss-up.

Overall:

Do you enjoy cinema with a heavy dose of sentimental tears? If so, Any Day Now should be on your must-see list. Fine’s superb family drama could have easily veered off into preachy-ville, especially considering the weighty subject matter. It almost demands a cliched, maudlin story to hammer the point home. But instead, Fine displays a solid talent for juggling serious topics and engaging character development. It ends up being a wonderful film that could, and should be a favorite of many.

Already a winner of numerous awards – including the Heinkien Audience Award from the Tribeca Film Fest -, Any Day Now stands to attract even more acclaim and well-deserved nominations in the coming months.

Rating: 8/10

The film will be opening Friday (December 14) in Los Angeles at the Sundance Sunset Cinema in West Hollywood, Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino, Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex in Santa Monica and the Regal University Town Center in Irvine.

Trailer:

Will you be seeing Any Day Now this weekend?