“My Two Dads”
Review: C+ (RENT IT)
D-DAY WILL likely take home the Best Actor Oscar (again) for playing the president on the penny, but don’t count Alan Cumming out. Sure, the Scottish actor’s singing is ghastly in “Any Day Now,” but he gives it all he’s got and “Any Day Now” is better for it. Directed by Travis Fine, the narrative centers on a male couple fighting for custody of a teenage boy with Down Syndrome. Meet Marco (played by first-timer Isaac Leyva); he lives on a steady diet of donuts as his junkie mom turns tricks just out-of-view. He wanders the City of Angels, clutching his doll and gazing up at a metropolis terrifying indifferent to whether he lives or dies.
Thankfully, Alan Cumming steps in as Marco’s guardian angel. As the tough-as-nails Rudy, Cumming is a drag performer and Marco’s neighbor inside a grimy apartment building. Once Marco’s mom is carted off to the slammer, Rudy begins to care for the boy and soon turns to his new boyfriend Paul to help him gain custody. Paul is played by a rather bland Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”); his wig is even worse than Cumming’s, especially in the scene where he shoots hoops with his lawyer boss and it begins to peel off his head like road-kill. Frances Fisher is a somewhat sympathetic judge who upbraids Rudy and Paul for lying to the court and masquerading as “friends” to keep Marco. But that’s where this film’s strength truly lies: it’s a reminder that things haven’t changed all that much since the 1970s in terms of gay parents and their rights. Paul is canned for not staying in the closet; Rudy is routinely harassed by cops and strangers on the street. “That’s discrimination,” Rudy protests. “That’s not discrimination,” says Paul, “that’s reality.”
We’re meant to root for Rudy, Paul, Marco as an island for misfit toys and the director does a fine job at eschewing sentimentality; still, “Any Day Now” feels a bit like a movie-of-the-week with predictable courtroom scenes to play out. Yet Cumming commands your attention and he’s a diamond in an otherwise rough little picture. A smart, activist film still needs to be made about gay adoptive parents and their struggles but this isn’t it. Maybe not “Any Day Now” but it’s coming – one can hope – someday soon.