Rated: R for sexual content, language and some drug use. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: December 14, 2012 Released by: Music Box Films
This new late-1970s low-budgeter based on actual events concerning a gay couple and a Down Syndrome teenager is surprisingly thoughtful, touching and funny.
Travis Fine's One Fine Day is counter programming to Hollywood's grandly scaled The Hobbit and centers on Alan Cumming's Hollywood drag queen struggling with the rent in a ram-shackled apartment complex in his Rudy aspiring to be a singer.
The aforementioned afflicted teen, Marco, admirably endowed by Isaac Leyva, essentially has been abandoned by his prostitute mother with her busy nocturnal work appeasing her drug-addled ways. Her lifestyle ends up leaving her in the slammer for possession.
Rudy has been romantically drawn to an attorney (yet to come out) Paul (Garret Dillahunt of Looper and Winter's Bone) and wants his new friend to help him get some kind of parental or guardian role for Marco whom he's invited into his place. The plot smartly works around the albatross felt by Paul who may be interested in having a live-in companion like Rudy and having Marco join them as a new spontaneous unit.
Even though Jimmy Carter is in the Oval Office there is a timely revelatory power to Fine's period prescient film where there is blindness when it comes to the handicapped and gay couples. A fear, when it comes to the establishment, that may equate to a kind of xenophobia, permeates an aura of prejudice when it comes to homosexual adoption. Societal and sexual attitudes are firmly in place that seemingly put Rudy and Paul at a disadvantage that have a spiritual, scrupulous disguise to them as Marco could end up in an institution.
This effort to legitimately provide for an unwanted child largely succeeds due to the way Fine gives the lead characters the latitude to breathe life into their driven, difficult milieus. A long-coiffed Cumming (often relegated to roles in films like Josie and the Pussycats, The Smurfs or Burlesque), in particular, strongly resonates in a lead role that ennobled by vulnerability and candor to provide a finely shaded portrait underscored by being more than a good samaritan for Marco. A solid character actor in Dillahunt allows for the more down-to-earth Paul to be the ideal dichotomy in a fear if exhilarating situation, frustrated yet undeterred when it comes to the rather demanding Rudy.
In the hands of many other filmmakers on a modest budget, Any Day Now wouldn't amount to much more than exploitative custody-battle fare often seen on movie-of-the-week programming, precluded by its devout adherence to conventional. But, with a never-better Cumming, it has a sharp compartmentalized commonsense about it that through its fact-based origin breaks the disabling cinematic mold of what manipulates into something soulful and stirring.
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