Sunday, July 14, 2013

Any Day Now (2012)

Alan Cumming is one of the most eccentric and talented character actors in the business, and "Any Day Now" allows him to stretch his acting muscles in a rare leading role.

 Set in 1979 California, "Any Day Now" tells the story of Rudy Donatello , a gay nightclub performer who enlists the help of his rich lawyer boyfriend Paul(Garret Dillahunt) when his next-door neighbor, a mentally handicapped teenager, is abandoned in Rudy's dive of an apartment complex by his drug addled mother.

   The kid, Marco, is taken in by the two men, who give him hope for a better life. "What do you eat for breakfast?" Rudy asks, to which Marcus answers, "Doughnuts." The kid's not joking. Mom, in her infinite wisdom, has been presenting her obese son with a daily serving of chocolate doughnuts, the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.

   Rudy adds fun and flamboyance beside Garret Dillahunt's slightly boring Paul, but when it comes right down to it, what girls don't prefer the queens to their more serious counterpart? Newcomer Isaac Leyva  doesn't let his real-life condition (Down's Syndrome) deter him from giving a surprisingly affecting performance.

   As the film turns into a custody court battle to keep the kid, the script sometimes smells of a little same-old-same-old (naysaying judges, barely concealed prejudices, dramatic music,) but doesn't let itself go into "I Am Sam" territory (with Sean Penn's spasmodically uttered cry of "Why isn't Lucy coming home with me?" You can practically hear the Kleenexes being pulled out.)

   Neither does it over-focus on the case and the lawyer's hubris like "Primal Fear." When it comes right down to it, Rudy and Paul are the only ones who see Marco for what he is- a person, not a burden. And if that doesn't move you just a little, well, maybe you have Grinch blood in you. Goodbye.


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