January looks forward to Peccadillo bringing two very different yet, of course, high calibre gay films to ensure 2014 starts as it means to go on. Bring on another year packed with releases of the great LGBT cinema that we so love.
Before the forbidden romance film FREE FALL is released, we will be celebrating the release of ANY DAY NOW on the thirteenth, a thought-provoking drama starring Scotland’s ever watchable and charismatic Alan Cumming. It’s inspired by the real case of a gay couple’s discriminatory struggles when they tried to adopt a disabled child and is set in ‘70s West Hollywood, when passionate homophobia was commonplace.
Cumming gives a powerful performance as talented singer Ruby Donatello, who is barely making ends meet with a drag act in a seedy club. Although confident within his sexuality, he lives on the fringes of society, unlike the successful yet closeted district attorney Paul Fleiger (Garret Dillahunt) he begins a relationship with. When Rudy’s drug-addicted neighbour is arrested and abandons her 14-year-old son Marco, who has Down Syndrome, Rudy and Paul feel compelled to take him into their care, and create a loving home for him whilst they pretend to be cousins.
Perhaps shockingly, same-sex couples have only been able to adopt in the UK since 2002. The status of adoption for LGBT couples in the US varies between states and is forbidden in some areas. This touching film covers a range of prevalent human rights issues that remain as pertinent today as they were decades ago. On a general scale the film explores gay equality, homophobia in the workplace, a flawed family justice system, and universal assumptions of gender roles. It provides a stark reminder of how far we’ve come for gay rights in the past four decades.
More specifically, ANY DAY NOW tackles the notion that same-sex couples cannot provide as stable a home as heterosexual couples, and further, that the mother should always take first priority when it comes to custody. We might be making great progress when it comes to gay marital bills, but the mind-set of many still holds the assumption that a married heterosexual couple provides the most stable home for children. It is assumed that children need both genders to care for them, and ideally, there will always be a nurturing female figure in the picture.
The classic marital drama KRAMER VS KRAMER famously challenged this ideal back in the ‘80s. In large part, it consists of a courtroom scene that held killer speeches from both Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman as they battle for custody of their son. Hoffman’s Ted movingly argues that gender does not equal great parenting, but Streep’s Joanna only has to state that her boy needs his mother, and she is granted custody. Similarly, in ANY DAY NOW, both protagonists have to argue during a gruelling case that their gender and sexuality is irrelevant when it comes to providing a loving home, exasperated that it’s such an important factor, and when Marco’s incapable mother enters the picture again their custody battle challenge intensifies.
Buy this stirring and poignant drama for yourself, HERE.
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