Thursday, December 13, 2012

Any Day Now will finally come

Was it almost 35 years ago? Apparently so, when you subtract 2012 from 1979. Were gay people ever really treated that badly? For me, the 70s kind of represented the coming out of gay culture, reaching a crescendo only to be felled a few years later by the onslaught of AIDS. But while the disco culture and performers like Donna Summer and the Village People seemed to define the gayness of the very late 70s, when it came to the law it was still antediluvian. As Any Day Now (Travis Fine - Girl, Interrupted 1999), which opens Friday at the Main Art - and based on a true story - shows, gay people were essentially treated the same way that blacks pre-Civil Rights era, were. Discrimination was rampant and the law was anything but on their side. This story is about a drag queen Rudy (Alan Cumming) and an attorney Paul (Garret Dillahunt) who meet, fall in love, and by sheer coincidence, almost immediately find themselves in de facto custody of a drug addict neighbor’s Down Syndrome child, Marco (Isaac Leyva). The mother is thrown in jail and Rudy and Paul apply to the court for legal adoption. Their fight against discriminatory law - which viewed their responsibility as parents several rungs lower than their sexuality - is the central part of this story. The film's performances are all good including such supporting roles as Frances Fisher as Judge Meyerson and Don Franklin as appeal attorney Lonnie Washington, who, with salty language, tells the couple that while they may have lost one battle "it doesn't mean we stop fighting for it (adoption) as a right." It might seem contradictory given the sharp social issues in this film but in many ways I found this a gentle story, because it portrayed Rudy and Paul's relationship - and care for Marco - in such a loving and supportive light. Rudy's confrontational personality only masked a nurturing quality which sought love and decency. This is underlined by the sweet melancholy sound of Joey Newman's original piano score. You might even shed a tear or two watching this movie.

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