Anything’s Possible Quick View; Grade: D+
Anything’s Possible tells a story about a trans girl named Kelsa (Eva Reign) who loves animals, wants to go to college out of state, and is bound to end high school on a high note. Kelsa gets acquainted with a student in her art class Khal (Abubakr Ali) who is really good at painting, is extremely kind, and enjoys going on reddit. Khal is developing a crush of some kind with Kelsa, as though he knows she’s trans, he still finds her attractive due to her intelligent mind. So in a very weird and awkward situation: Khal delivers Kelsa flowers, as they now pursue in dating despite potentially on both ends are bound to be judged by friends/family and the entire school.
First time director Billy Porter whom has been in some films and a popular FX television series Pose, decides to give this unexpected teenage rom com story centering around a transgender a try. This film kind of reminds me of characteristics from the television show Atypical and the film Eighth Grade, mainly dealing with our lead character. Atypical because both lead characters LOVE animals and have deep thought provoking views on animals, while Eighth Grade both main characters vlog about hardships of their life and school. Unfortunately both Atypical and Eighth Grade are both far more superior than Anything’s Possible, as your mind wishes you were watching those instead.
Let’s start with the positives: This story surprising enough is tolerable. When you have a story centered around “Modern Gen Z” as this film would like to call it, you expect it to be overly obnoxious while teenagers do not talk like actual real human beings. Yes there are couple cringeworthy moments, for example Kelsa saying people would be only interested in dating her for “Woke Points”... You do realize there is no such thing as a real life person, that wants to date someone of any matter for Woke Points?!
Anyhow: THANKFULLY this film does not beat you over the head with obnoxious dialogue and obnoxious mannerisms, as the film contained itself to have teenagers talk like real teenagers. Like there are a couple of swell sequences between Kelsa and Khal where they express their insecurity regarding their situation, developed themselves as a couple, and dive deep in some personal matters. Personally the best sequence in this entire film for me was Kelsa and Khal’s first date at some kind of nature exhibit. It was sweet and acceptably cute and awkward like a first date should be, as I like how they come off the bat letting Khal know that Kelsa just wants to be treated like a regular person and not be reminded of her gender. You can also say this sequence was the best visual shot of this entire film, which we’ll get to that in a bit.
Best performance by far in this happens to be Kelsa’s mother played by Renee Elise Goldsberry. Renee brought some serious range in her performance, especially a crucial third act where she brought a great amount of emotion, easily the best performance in this entire film by far and it’s not even close.
When it comes to the visuals… Anything’s Possible visually speaking doesn’t look like a film at all, as it feels more like a Television series you would see on ABC Family… I know it’s called Freeform, but we’ll continue to call it ABC Family. I understand Billy Porter has a history in television so that maybe why it looks like that, but if you’re going to make a feature film, it can not look this squeaky clean sit com/dramatic family series, like it was very distracting as the look of the film other than the nature exhibit looked too amateurish.
This story also features a sequence that feels entirely forced, in terms of expressing a theme in which involves transgenders and bathroom/locker room usage. I don’t mind exploring that theme however it needs to have not only a purpose in terms of story telling but needs to be earned, if you get rid of this entire side plot it doesn’t really make much of a difference in terms of the plot. How about instead of forcing this subject matter, you actually create a conflict that feels relatable to a real high school conflict matter?!
The comedy material was…. Bland. There are a couple moments where there was a couple jokes, where I pointed at the screen and go “Oh that’s a joke”, but none of the jokes really landed in terms of laughing as I didn’t laugh once, other than Kelsa explaining why someone would date her or a poorly executed fight sequence. Look at the bright sides: At least the humor isn’t offensive compared to the likes of Senior Year.
Kelsa really isn’t that likable of a lead character. Like what she did to her friend was indeed wrong, I don’t care if Kelsa gets rarely an opportunity of a dating life, it doesn’t mean you go behind your friends back and pursue the same love interest their interested in. It goes against girl/bro code: You gotta let them know they’re interested in the same person, that way you genuinely care about their feelings and whether or not you can pursue that person. Plus the way Kelsa insulting Khal for being a nice guy… What the hell did he do?! She’s a very irritating lead character to watch, the more we come to experience this character, the less we like her.
Is it just me or does the setting of this story in terms of seniors in high school, doesn’t necessarily feel like senior year in high school?! When the film cuts to graduation… I was like wait were they seniors this entire time?! It felt like they were like sophomores or juniors, the film doesn’t make it feel like it’s senior year in high school at all.
I feel like at times some romantic sequences were really butchered. The first date especially, like we have a nice fairly done first date that was sweet and a bit awkward but in a reasonable genuine way, then all of a sudden… They escalated in making out and that whole sequence was completely uncomfortable. Did we really need to have these characters making out after a good first date, when it’s clear as day as they’re not totally comfortable and confident with each other, to express affection any further?! Absolutely not, why wreck an actual good written romantic sequence and cap it off with a terrible conclusion?!
The ending was…. MEH! It was just a very corny, not to mention that whole summer romance montage… Felt like they were rushing to wrap it up. Speaking of the ending: There’s a quick sequence where it shows a mural painting of the directors face… Yeah that’s a bit excessive much, man’s acted like he made Reservoir Dogs or Hereditary with his debut feature.
Overall, Anything’s Possible was meh. I don’t recommend this film, just watch Eighth Grade or Atypical instead. -Mitch Smietana