Film and TV

It's hard to take Any Day Now's message seriously

Any Day Now is homo history repurposed as courtroom soap opera. Director Travis Fine, greatly embellishing a script written decades ago by George Arthur Bloom — who based it on a real-life, high-camp Brooklyn neighbor (played by Alan Cumming) and the mentally challenged kid he looked after — has virtuous aims, but horrible storytelling instincts. Set in 1979, Any Day Now concerns a part-time drag queen and his district-attorney boyfriend fighting for custody of a teenager with Down syndrome. It's undeniably filled with good intention, and as a reminder of the flagrant (and lingering) injustices of a not-so-distant past, the film might have some value as an earnest public service. But it's hard to take the message seriously when Cumming is left to keen "This is a travesty of justice!" while struggling with a Queens accent and buried under a wig fished out of a dumpster after Milk wrapped. Straining for "teachable moments," the film has one noteworthy, unintentional function: to remind us that although LGBT rights are continually evolving, kitsch is immutable.

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Melissa Anderson