on 24 November 2006
So many other Amazon.com reviews of "Latter Days" have said enough about most aspects of this wonderful film, that I just want to limit my comments to the very genuine realism of the movie's depiction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family of my mother hails from Utah, my mother having been born in Salt Lake City and was raised early in life as a Mormon, ending up, after many roundabouts religiously, marrying and converting to her second husband's Lutheranism, with a brief reversion to L.D.S. Mormonism that involved the rest of our family before we became Presbyterian Christians afterwards.
Some folks will think that this motion picture's portrayal of the L.D.S. Mormon cult surely is exaggerated. Not so! The depressing depiction of L.D.S. Mormonism is right in detail, in mood, in its repressiveness, in the uptight culture that this cult cult breeds in every way (and which, incidentally, do not excuse its zeal for higher education and its appealing hymnody and choral tradition that are so musically notable). I wept when I saw this film, so true to my memories and extensive knowledge of L.D.S. Mormonism is this movie. The scene of the "church trial" that the wayward gay missionary undergoes is unbelievably, suffocatingly, and realistically evocative of the funeral home decor, gloom, and stifling atmosphere of a L.D.S. ward or "stake house" (i.e. the equivalent of what would be a local church or meeting house in Christian terms), of the legalistic, unbending self-righteousness of the bishop and elders judging him without even the slightest trace of human compassion or understanding, and all the rest of the "kangaroo court" proceedings of this scene. When the lad frees himself at last from his Mormon bondage and joins up with his non-Mormon ("gentile" in L.D.S. lingo) boyfriend, back in California, is, on the first occasion (in a cinema theatre), that I saw the film, the point at which I lost my composure and wept from the emotion of seeing him drop his L.D.S. Mormon shackles.
A note, just for clarification to those who are unaware of the differences, is in order to non-Mormon viewers is not to confuse the L.D.S. religious group (i.e. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, Utah) with the R.L.D.S. (Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) church (now preferring to use the name Community of Christ, with its principal institutions based in Independence, Missouri, and Lamoni, Iowa), which is notable for its peace orientation and generous spirit towards gays and all minorities. The film "Latter Days" is about the L.D.S. group, not about the R.L.D.S. church.
As a Christian now, as a man, and as a citizen, I believe that no religious group soever should have the unloving harshness towards gay people that the L.D.S. Mormon group in post-W.W. II times has become notorious for displaying and acting upon. Earlier in its history, the L.D.S. in Utah was, if anything, very understanding of homoeroticism, but, alas, the the Church of Jesus Christ of the L.D.S. has departed from the friendliness towards gay men of the Uath's pioneer and post-pioneer eras.
See this film, buying the DVD of it from Amazon.com to view it again and again, and pity those L.D.S. missionaries who come to your door, and, more importantly, refuse to believe their deceptive tactics and rhetoric, which this movie so compellingly reveals in all their appalling aspects.
on 7 October 2005
Latter Days is a great 'love conquers all' story between two very sweet gay men. Aaron a closeted gay guy from the ultra religious nuts the Mormons and Christian, the archetypal promiscuous gym and disco obsessed gay man.
It all starts when Aaron is sent on a proselytising mission to glamorous LA and moves in across from Christian. On a bet Christian has to seduce Aaron. And from this absurd start a profoundly beautiful love develops.
It's a great ride from start to finish mainly because it's a pretty love story, between two fit gay guys. That would be enough in itself but there's also lots of funny jokes scattered across the film. My favourite involves a scene where Christian has just picked up his latest one night stand. In Christians search for a deeper meaning since meeting Aaron, Christian asks for something a little different than usual from his pick up and gets a very funny response.
Another good moment is the elucidating confrontation between Aaron and his religious nut case mother. This is the most intense part of the film.
As the movie moves towards the end, the strands of the story come together satisfyingly well.
And if you're not moved by the end, well, you missed something great.
A rightful success.
on 9 April 2013
For a start,if you're (sadly)homophobic,don't watch. This story/film shows just how strong someone can be ... 2 men from different walks of life,..both Gay (1 openly and the other so far back in the closet he's left footprints in the snow in Narnia)....the "methods" of making his "straight" are horrendous ...there are some hilarious moments in this too,..high camp,yet soberingly upsetting. One of the best films I've seen in a long time ....takes some beating.
It's well written - the writer/director wrote the script for Resee Whitherspoon's "Sweet Home Alabama" - well acted and has a soul to it. True, in essence it is a typical romantic comedy but I actually cared for these characters and what would happen to them. And isn't it what's important? And as a bonus, it has Jacqueline Bisset in a small part, looking as beautiful as ever.
In the end, it's a good film, which I very much enjoyed. Recommended for a date/night-in and there aren't that many of these on the boy-meets-boy variety. The DVD offers a quite nice selection of extras which include a commentary by the writer/director and the two stars, deleted scenes, a making-of and the trailer.