Review | Billy Porter makes impressive directorial debut with great rom-com ‘Everything Is Possible’

Billy Porter gained worldwide fame after starring in the acclaimed drama ‘Pose’, even winning an Emmy Award for his iconic portrayal of Pray Tell. And, shortly after breaking down gender barriers by playing the fabulous Fairy Godmother in the musical adaptation of ‘Cinderella’Porter decided to dive headfirst into the film world by making his directorial debut with the upcoming romantic dramedy ‘Everything is possible’ – whose genre formulas are used to move away from conventionalism and create a fun and functional narrative aimed not only at the LGBTQIA+ community, but essentially at trans people (whose representation in the media still remains very scarce).

The narrative follows Kelsa (Eva Reign), a young transgender woman navigating her senior year of high school before finally leaving the city of Pittsburgh behind and following her dream of becoming a filmmaker. Accompanied by her two best friends, she faces the day-to-day of being a girl labeled different by a cis-heteronormative society – saying she doesn’t need anyone to protect her and that, in fact, she’s not looking for any romance. However, her world is turned upside down when she crosses paths with the charming and lovable Khalid (Abubakr Ali), a boy who is in the same visual arts class as her, whose dreams go against what the traditional Muslim family wants for him. It is in this explosive context that both develop a relationship and begin to fall in love with each other.

The main idea of ​​the film is to deconstruct, as well as ‘Pose’ did a few years ago, the construction of trans characters in the mainstream. Although Porter does not identify as a trans person, he has always shown himself to be an ally of this community and has always used his voice to dismantle the barriers between genders – which is why he treats the subject with extreme caution and delicacy. The story itself presents several sides, from the welcome role of Kelsa, endowed with a complex personality that certainly dialogues with Reign’s personal experiences, to how ingrained prejudice impacts her, Khalid’s and everyone’s mental health. around you. One of the ideas explored, too, is the deliberate shock promoted by Porter in destining a plot not to those who have dominated the screens since the emergence of the show businessbut to those who still fight for the space they deserve.

The feature does not reinvent the wheel – nor does it have this objective: it is no surprise, therefore, that we are presented with several “clichés”, so to speak: Kelsa and Khalid belong to different worlds, to different daily lives and, by a chance of fate , end up getting involved. More than that, they escape the stereotypes of “nerdy girl” and “sports star”, as seen countless times in film and television, posing as people who have their own dreams, desires and obstacles to face. And it is within this unique cosmos that serves as the maximum representation of Gen-Z’s ideological multiplicity that we have the usual onslaughts of the genre exuding from the screen: at first, this unexpected romance blossoms and enchants, until it faces a dead end that starts with thoughts contrasting. Finally, things work themselves out – and it’s in an off-kilter ending, which harkens back to the lauded musical ‘La La Land: Singing Seasons’that the arc involving the couple comes to an end and gives way to a different chapter.

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The production is not entirely free of slips, which is not a gigantic problem that takes the audience away from the plot. There are, in fact, forced dialogues that clash with the messages to be used – and that are painted with incursions aimed at spectators who are now entering adolescence, infused in a social panorama that no longer accepts, at least in theory, idiotic prejudices that reject the existence of another. Kelsa even comments that she doesn’t just want to exist, but to enjoy everything that unfolds in front of her – such as, for example, entering UCLA and going to a place where people don’t know her and don’t judge her for who she was. , and yes by who it is.

While the script Ximena Garcia Lecuona does its best within the limits imposed by the rom-coms teenagers, Porter also demonstrates a directorial command cohesive enough to architect what he intends: as already mentioned, there is nothing original to be seen here, but the director manages to unite the effective with the enveloping, transforming possible rhythmic digressions into an exaltation of what is to be a young person these days – taking references from ‘The lie’ and ‘Almost 18’ and bringing them together into something personal, intimate and full of flavor. The aesthetic choices, which gradually lean towards the maturation of a yellowish color palette, are accurate and contribute to conveying the respective feelings to the audience. And the icing on the cake comes with the applaudable presence of Renee Elise Goldsberry like Kelsa’s mother, decked out in flawless surrender.

Billy Porter’s directorial debut is impressive and foreshadows a new side to the fruitful career of one of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars. ‘Everything is possible’ it doesn’t go far beyond the curve – but the result is so competent that it makes us forget about formulas and buy into this anthemic story of overcoming, empowerment and love.

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