ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE (2022)
Release Date: 07/22/22 [Prime Video]
Studio: Amazon Studios
"A delightfully modern Gen Z coming-of-age story that follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans, as she navigates through senior year."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Anything’s Possible. That’s not just an optimistic outlook on life. It also happens to be the name of the latest original hitting Prime Video this week.
The film marks the directorial debut of award-winning LGBTQ+ icon Billy Porter. It follows the relationship that blooms between two teenagers named Khal and Kelsa. Their romance, which would be considered totally normal in any other instance, is blown completely out of proportion by each of their friends and family members simply because Kelsa is trans. That additional pressure unfortunately tests their relationship, and the two soon have to decide if all the drama is worth their happiness.
The film comes across as a very modern remix of the Shakespearean classic, Romeo and Juliet. Don’t worry. No one dies and there are only a handful of soliloquies, but it is still tragic to an extent. In a perfect world, no one would care about this relationship. It’d be as private as any other non-celebrity couple. But the way in which the film examines how most people actually react to relationships like Khal and Kelsa’s is entirely realistic. Early on, when one of Khal’s friends finds out that he likes Kelsa, he calls him “gay.” But the fact of the matter is that he’s not “gay” because Kelsa is a girl. Interestingly enough, when his younger (and more immature brother) finds out about the relationship he’s fully supportive. The contrast between the two reactions is incredibly accurate since you can never truly gauge how all of your loved ones will interpret your feelings. It proves just how the ones you least expect to understand you might end up surprising you with the most support.
While it does admittedly feel like a melodramatic storyline ripped straight from Degrassi at times, Anything’s Possible is still pretty enjoyable - mostly because of its humor. What’s so tasteful about the humor in the film is that all of it is situational, and neither Kelsa or the LGBTQ+ community are ever the butt of any joke. Instead, there’s a focus on the awkward, obnoxious, and outright idiotic things all teenagers say and do in high school. If I had to pick one of the funniest parts of the film, it’s an exchange between a student and a teacher about using a calculator in English class.
Newcomer Eva Reign is awesome as Kelsa. I loved her energy. I loved her authenticity. I think she has a bright future ahead in the industry. The only thing I would say that feels forced about her character is her obsession with animals. From the very beginning, she makes it clear that she admires animals because they can’t be anything other than themselves. While I understood the metaphor, it seemed too on-the-nose. I think the character could have been given any other interest or hobby and Reign would have still made it work.
I also liked Abubakr Ali’s performance as Khal. Although Ali exudes an infectious charm that makes it near-impossible to not like him, his character is also known as the school’s “nice guy.” But falling in love forces him to become more assertive. It’s enjoyable to see him come into his own to not only stand up for himself but to stand up for the girl he loves.
Now, in the film, there’s a reference to something called the “law of averages”. Not to be confused with the real scientific principle, it’s used by Kelsa and her mom as a way to set boundaries: her mom can’t ask her questions she wouldn’t ask an average girl. It’s a clever spin on the idea, and one that I think everyone should keep in mind when thinking about checking this film out and actually watching it. Despite treading new ground as a coming-of-age story where one of the leads is trans, gender politics aside, this is just a film about two people falling in love. And if the history of love stories has taught humanity anything, it’s that– well, just look at the film’s title.