7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Did I say charming?,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Latter Days (DVD)
There's no doubt that Steve Sandvoss is the best thing about Latter Days and makes this film unmissable. Mesmerizingly handsome, as the sweet-natured idealistic Mormon missionary who has to deal with both his awareness of his sexuality and his religion's condemnation of homosexuality, he gives a performance that will charm the pants off you! He brings such a sweet naivety to the role, and such likability, even when the dialogue is clunky you somehow are convinced by him, and more than a little in love!
Phew, well, the rest of the cast is also excellent. The characters are probably a little too stereotypical for comfort but they are drawn and acted beautifully, and I empathized with all. Wes Ramsey as the beautiful and shallow party boy of the relationship is comparatively, a little too cardboard and not wholly convincing. The excellent Jaqueline Bisset's character seems inspired by Mrs Madrigal from Tales of the City and so unoriginal, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (so good in 3rd Rock!) as the Mormon with attitude is somewhat wasted but very good. Erik Palladino - as Keith Griffin who is suffering from AIDS - deserves a mention, his performance is very moving, funny and convincing.
This film is obviously far from perfect. It hasn't the best of scripts and there are some filmic ideas to contend with that I personally found a touch crass and jarring, and so much feels formulaic, just tick the boxes! Although heartfelt, the soundtrack has little subtlety, which is unfortunate in that music plays quite a significant part in the film, but some of the songs are sweet and work well enough in context.
What this film has in abundance is charm, you get the feeling that the cast and crew meshed well, and it was obviously a labour of love of C. J. Fox, the writer and director, the idea having come from his own experiences as a Mormon youth. There is a lot of skill in evidence in both the directing and writing that would definitely make me seek out C. J. Fox films with the expectation that things can only get better, and I'd love to see what he could do with a bigger budget.
Sentimental romantic that I am - which can make me very forgiving - I loved it! I know it's a film I will go back to and watch again and again, and so would recommend it highly.