R (sexual content, strong language, drug use); 97 min.
Any Day Now, about a gay couple in '70s Los Angeles trying to adopt a boy with Down syndrome, has weepy, movie-of-the-week melodrama written all over it. But it rises above the saccharin thanks to strong performances and a restraint that keeps it from going too far over the emotional edge.
Alan Cumming is Rudy, a down-on-his-luck drag performer who lives in a crumbling apartment next to Marianna (Jamie Anne Allman, The Killing), the drug-addicted, neglectful mother of 13-year-old Marco (Isaac Leyva). When Rudy finds Marco wandering the streets at all hours and then left alone at home after his mother's arrest, he takes matters into his own hands to try to become his temporary legal guardian.
That wasn't an easy task in the '70s, though it helps that Rudy's divorced and just-out-of-the-closet boyfriend, Paul (Garret Dillahunt, Raising Hope), is a lawyer who works in the district attorney's office. Needless to say, they run into a brick wall of opposition but, in the meantime, the three of them form a kind of close-knit family that none of them has really had.
Directed by Travis Fine and based on a 40-year-old script by George Arthur Bloom, Any Day Now would have had more impact if it could have been made in the '80s. There have been quite a few child-custody and gay-rights-struggle movies since then. Still, Cumming brings an inner strength to Rudy that's persuasive, and Dillahunt is equally strong as a man who evolves from hesitancy to militancy.
A little movie like this could easily get lost amid all the big holiday releases. But after nearly a half-century of lying around in some dark Hollywood drawer, it's a story that deserves the light of day.
Exclusive: Landmark Magnolia, Dallas
-- Cary Darling