‘Anything’s Possible’ Creates A World Where Love Wins – Review
Not many coming-of-age movies that feature a queer or trans lead end well. There aren’t enough LGBTQ coming-of-age stories to begin with. So, for Anything’s Possible to be a story written by a trans woman, with a trans woman as the lead and a gay man as the director, it shows that anything IS possible.
Written by Ximena García Lecuona and directed by Billy Porter, Anything’s Possible is the story of a young trans woman named Kelsa (Eva Reign) entering her senior year. And while she’s ready to take her next step into the great unknown, before she does, she finds a boy named Khal (Abubakr Ali) who crushes on her. With feelings reciprocated, the two embark on a relationship filled with love. Still, it draws in drama from friends, loved ones, and the rest of the world—ultimately leaving the two to learn more about themselves and grow in ways they never had before.
First off, Anything’s Possible is Gen Z to the max. It’s a modern tale that makes the millennial coming-of-age stories feel like a distant memory. From the focus on social media and online community building to the fashion on point, the film brings you into the world of teens right now, not yesteryear.
Although the film focuses on Gen Z, it’s also a film for all generations to enjoy. Outside of age, race is a massive component as the majority of the cast is either Black or Brown. In an industry still struggling to properly represent people of color on screen and behind it, this film wins big with representation. Not just for people of color being present, but seamlessly and carefully intertwining different elements of the culture of characters of color.
Various elements of Khal’s identity as a Brown, Muslim teen spill out onto the screen in ways that would make others who identify as Khal feel represented. The same goes for young Black trans girls watching Kelsa be unapologetically herself throughout the film. The inclusive and thoughtful conversations further propel Kelsa and Khal’s story throughout the film through numerous young and old characters. All of this feels somewhat surreal but refreshing and desperately needed.
Watching the film, you can’t help but think about how Black trans folks like Laverne Cox, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Indya Moore, and many other Black trans actors have paved the way to make room for Reign to portray Kelsa. While many stories of Black trans people are rooted in struggle (which is still very real), Kelsa’s story is sentimental in comparison.
You get to see a Black trans girl exist, and that’s a beautiful story on its own. The film is a testament to inclusion, as it is to young love and discovery. Honestly, it shows a world we deserve to live in that normalizes trans/cis relationships.
And in the film, that world is in Pittsburgh, which is a gorgeous backdrop to the story. Porter, in his directorial debut, beautifully captures the heart of his hometown.
Now, some of the elements of the film veer into the cheesier territory and some of the supporting cast members give performances that feel more appropriate for a kid’s sitcom rather than a feature film. Additionally, the film’s pacing feels a bit rushed, making me wonder if this could’ve served better as a TV series.
But, even with all of this, the lessons taught in the film stand firmly. Not to mention, Reign and Ali’s chemistry is lovely, Renée Elise Goldsberry is fierce, and the film is a much-needed addition in the fight for quality, on-screen trans representation.
And while the movie is about the relationship between Kelsa and Khal, it’s also a feel-good movie that shows what a supportive family looks like, what exploring your life looks like, and how the people in our lives can leave us changed for the better.