‘Any Day Now,’ Homophobia and Heroism

All anyone would have had to tell me to get me to watch Any Day Now was that it stars Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt as a couple. But that isn’t the only promise–with some caveats–of this period movie about two men fighting biases against gay couples in the adoption process:

I really appreciate the framing of the conflict here: the characters end up challenging laws that discriminate against them as gay men and as a gay couple that get in their way of doing something else that they’re both passionate about, namely, helping a neighboring teenager with Down syndrome. Anti-gay sentiment is a hurdle they face on their hero’s journey, not the only thing they’re interested in, and I hope the characters will get to be fuller people as a result. I am a little concerned about some of the more cliche dialogue it looks like Cumming is getting saddled with, though that man can sell pretty much anything.

But I do think it’s an interesting dynamic to have friction between him and Dillahunt as a reminder that not every member of every group that faces discrimination is a Hero Advocate. Within almost any community, there are people who are able to pass, or to accumulate enough social capital with the majority that it’s genuinely easier for them and their day-to-day lives not to advocate for equality and recognition. Abandoning that relative privilege to embrace solidarity is a kind of heroism, too.