Occasionally, a film comes along that I want to like, but I just can't separate the work's goodness from the dross it's wrapped in. Any Day Now, a period melodrama (with musical numbers) about two gay men trying to adopt a teen-age boy with Down syndrome, is such a film.
Travis Fine's film takes place in 1979 Los Angeles, where a penniless drag queen named Rudy (Alan Cumming) has two fortuitous meetings: a just-out lawyer named Paul (Garret Dillahunt) and his teen-age neighbor, Marco (Isaac Leyva). Rudy, Paul and Marco (whose mom is jailed) set up housekeeping — and life progresses grandly. (We know this because we see the Super 8 montage of fun family times.) But when Marco's mom gets out of jail, the two men must go to the courts to remain Marco's guardians.
There is good material here — reputedly based on a true story — that in surer hands would have deftly hit satisfying beats of heartwarming, outrage and heartbreak. But while its heart is in the right place, much of the film's tone, dialogue and plotting skirts just above the caliber of a cheesy TV movie.
If you can excuse its flaws, it's not a bad way to spend a January evening. It benefits from our current enlightenment about non-traditional relationships and retroactive wish-fulfillment: You really do want this cobbled-together family to make it.