Billy Porter's directorial debut is a modern coming-of-age story about a trans girl's final year at high school.
'Anything's Possible' is about Kelsa (Eva Reign), a confident schoolgirl with a solid group of friends, a supportive mother (Renee Elise Goldsberry), a hatred for the word "brave" and a passion for anything to do with animals. Hoping to eventually find a job in wildlife photography, first she needs to navigate the tricky situation that is her final year at high school. A trans girl, Kelsa feels like gender is all someone sees when they look at her, and wants to show the world she's more than just that.
When we first meet our main character, she's creating one of her many YouTube videos where she talks about her love for the animal kingdom and also touches on her life as a trans person. Through dialogue with her single mother (who doesn't approve of her YouTube videos for some reason), her friends, and her immediate love interest (Abubkar Ali), we are told the puzzle pieces of her trans journey so far; it's not been an easy ride so far, but hopefully this year will see that all change.
Unfortunately, when Kelsa begins dating Khal, this sees a rift open up in her school, as friends of both parties involved show their true colours.
As we can see in many parts of our lives these days, still, there are close-minded people in all parts of the world. None more so than the US right now. And so it's fascinating that 'Anything's Possible' should drop as the topic of "women's bodies" remains a subject that is still being discussed in the year 2022. You would have hoped we had moved on from this, but sadly no.
It's a breath of fresh air, then, that this movie comes across our paths and celebrates the uproarious path of a young trans girl in a US high school, at a time when we might lose hope in there being more rounded and well-educated people in our society, or leading our country. Due to societal constraints placed on us from an early age, even the main character struggles to believe that someone in her school might have a crush on her because she's different.
'Anything's Possible' is very cute and wholesome, especially in the relationship between the leading couple, and both of them with their parents and family members, but it has got its moments of drama too. One moment sees Kelsa ousted from the female changing rooms due to "concerns", while another sees Khal get into a fight with a friend for their own insecure reasons. The story points aren't revolutionary, but they do highlight people's egos not wanting to be bruised when something changes in their lives.
Accepting oneself and those around them isn't something that comes naturally to anyone, but 'Anything's Possible' does hit home the bigger complexities that come with being a transgender female who is also a person of colour. Under Billy Porter's playful eye (who is best known for his role in Ryan Murphy's 'Pose' and for serving it on red carpets), the cast is given room to have fun with the script and bring a level of tenderness to those more emotional and vulnerable beats too.
'Anything's Possible' isn't trying to be anything else other than an uplifting. Like so many other coming-of-age movies we've seen through the years, this is a simple story about a teenage girl who is looking to be accepted for who she is, while also accepting herself in the process. We need more stories like this to break through into mainstream media, even if they're works of fiction.