Released: 22nd July
Seen: 2nd September
Right now we are going through a bit of a golden era for representation in TV and movies, particularly for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. While the numbers still aren’t fantastic, there’s a noted increase in films that feature characters who are from that community actually played by actors from that community, trans actors playing trans characters are a thing that’s happening more frequently and it’s a glorious thing to see.
We’re slowly starting to see people from that underrepresented community get to appear in a lot more everyday films, films where their sexuality or gender isn’t really the key thing that the film rests on. One big marker that things are getting better is that we’re now getting charming little teenage rom-coms that feature people who aren’t straight and cis. A few years ago Love, Simon felt like a big barrier breaker for gay representation, and now with the absolutely charming Anything’s Possible it feels like the same is happening for trans representation.
Anything’s Possible follows Kelsa (Eva Reign), a young trans woman who is just finishing high school and preparing for college. She lives a relatively normal life, she has a decent friend group and a loving mother and shares her experience as a trans woman online via her very small YouTube channel. Her world changes when she ends up being paired with Khal (Abubakr Ali) for an art class and the two hit it off. Slight problem though, Kelsa’s friend Em (Courtnee Carter) said she was interested in Khal first and this might cause a rift between the friends, and that rift might end up making Kelsa’s school life a lot more complicated than she planned.
The fun part about Anything’s Possible is how it really leans into the light-hearted fun tone of the classic rom-coms that a lot of us grew up with, every minute is filled to the brim with charming banter between our leads who have enough chemistry that it could cause an explosion at any minute. There is no time wasted in getting them together, we power through introductions as effectively as possible because we want to get to the good stuff as quickly as we can.
The pace of Anything’s Possible is impeccable, it has an effervescent energy that just makes every single minute joyful… which shouldn’t be a shock, Billy Porter’s power to elevate the material to be enjoyable just by his mere presence apparently also works when he’s behind the camera directing things. Seriously, can Billy Porter please stop hogging all the talent? Save some for the rest of us.
Of course it’s not just Billy Porter’s direction that makes Anything’s Possible into something special, it’s aided by a spectacular cast that’s one of the most talented and diverse batch of newcomers to be put on film this year. Everyone just brings their A-game to make this into something glorious, but the entire thing rests on the charm and talent of Eva Reign who is a breakout star. She has you loving her within minutes and rooting for her to have the best life within seconds.
When everything starts crumbling around her, you want to defend her… and then be ready to stand back because she tells you pointedly that she doesn’t need saving. It’s a powerful performance that can be funny, charming, playful and strong within seconds. Keep an eye on Eva because there is no doubt that she’ll be reigning supreme over the box office sometime soon.
While the story of the film is a very standard romcom story, what makes it stand out is how they also bring in the modern-day politics surrounding trans people. If you’ve been a part of those spaces, even as an ally, a lot of the ways people react to Kelsa during the third act will sound familiar and to Anything’s Possible’s credit, it doesn’t shy away from the real-world transphobia that does happen. It never goes further than one asshole misgendering someone and a fight over bathrooms but it also makes sure to call out the assholes and do it without reservation… as it should, because if you have a problem with trans women using the women’s bathroom then you’re a fuckwad and should be called out as such. Anything’s Possible does that, though not in those exact words and it’s a good spin on the standard third-act dramatic fight because it feels real.
The most important part of Anything’s Possible though is just that it’s joyful, it’s unabashed in reveling in the joy of young love and being as sweet and playful about it as possible. It delivers that sweet happy feeling every good romcom should deliver, making you just want to root for the main couple to get what’s best for them. Hell, it even ends on a big fun dance number throughout the school like all the best silly 90s romcoms did and sure that might be dated, but it’s just a fun little cap on a pretty sweet film.
Anything’s Possible might not be perfect, but it’s special. It’s a joyful love story with the kind of cast that you don’t get to see as often as you should that knows when to be serious among the playful banter. It’s a genuine delight that’s undeniably a lot of fun to watch. If you’re in the mood for a good romcom, this will absolutely satisfy.