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Latter Days

A movie directed by C. Jay Cox

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Deservedly Welcome

  • Dec 19, 2006

Deservedly Welcome

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

Several people have asked for my opinion of a film that has become somewhat of a modern gay classic film and one of the bestselling gay films of these times. No I am not talking about "Brokeback Mountain" which I shall eventually get around to. The movie is "Latter Days (TLA Releasing). It is a beautiful little movie and deserves all of the accolades heaped upon it. It is provocative and touches some of the more serious issues of life today and for that alone it is worthwhile. But it also has an engaging story and good looking actors who manage decent performances even if it is a bit contrived. If the viewer sticks with the film, there are rewards to be won by watching it.
Lately gay life seems to be quite concerned about religion and "Latter Days" deals with that issue. Nineteen year Mormon missionary, Aaron, leaves his home in rural Idaho to go to Los Angeles and almost immediately meet up with their nemesis, an obviously gay neighbor named of all things, Christian. Aaron suddenly feels an immediate physical attraction which he channels into evangelicalistic zeal while at the same time Christian bets his neighbors that he will bed one of the Mormons. However it is not so easy a situation. If Aaron shows any tinge of homosexuality, he will be excommunicated from his religion.
I am sure that many of you are not aware that the story is a clothed autobiography of the director/screenwriter. He certainly knows what he is doing, especially when he touches on the issues of racism, sexuality and gender as they are looked upon by the Church of Latter Day Saints. Everything comes together when the characters in the movie begin their quests for the meaning of life. Cox, the director, skillfully presents this as sincere and it all reaches an intriguing conclusion that is admittedly convenient.
The movie brings an authentic and funny as well as moving movie. For two beginners, the acting was A-one and there are times when the movie is magic. What else will make you sit u and take notice? I think the main thing that "Latter Days" does is making sure that it is not another tired and worn-out. Even while using some of the old devices of romantic-drama--accidental meeting, the results of a bet, gay man hits on straight guy, it rises above the level of cliché.
The action takes place in Los Angeles and the two central characters appear to be as different as day and night. Yet somehow together, the buys mesh those differences and are able to strike up a sincere yet awkward friendship. When they eventually kiss and Aaron is caught by the three other Mormons who are with him, he is sent home to face the consequences.-excommunication and rejection by his family.
Even though the script writing is mediocre and the characters are stereotypical, we are able to rise above the mundane and the movie reaches a beautiful conclusion.
This is such a satisfying film that even if I could find something non-complimentary to say, it would be swallowed up by the good in the movie. We need more movies like this that deal with the way we live now. "Latter Days" is a wonderful addition to the world of gay cinema and we should be so proud to have this movie in our corner.

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More Latter Days reviews
review by . April 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
There are certain portions of even indie film cinema that go unnoticed a lot.  And when these particular movies end up having some popularity going behind them there is generally a sort of curiosity as to how anyone could like them.  Gay and Lesbian movies seem to suffer this stigma a lot as it hasn't yet hit hard for some people that it is not a requirement to be gay or lesbian to enjoy them (that or the idea of two guys making out is just repulsive, but let's pretend that it's …
Quick Tip by . April 25, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
You can watch "Latter Days" for free if you like. The movie is available on Hulu.com through April 2015. The site shows commercials but otherwise there is no cost, and you don't have to register as a member unless you want to.
Quick Tip by . October 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not just a pretty boy gay movie despite having all the hallmarks -- there is emotional and sexual complexity that make it a good movie on the whole not just an ok gay flick.
review by . July 10, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: acting, story, development of characters     Cons: ...     The Bottom Line: "Tuesday 3:00 a.m.,   Once again I'm wide awake.   Waiting for time to mend this part of me that keeps on breaking"   ~ C. Jay Cox     Latter Days centers around two polar opposites - the Mormon church and homosexuals. First we have our playboy about town, Christian, that has a new boy toy nightly. He is fun loving, adventurous, …
review by . August 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
LATTER DAYS is a classy little film that holds its own among the light love stories out today. And yet it is more: some unique phobias and prejudices are examined very genuinely and the result is a movie that gives us not only characters about whom we care but enlightens us as to both sides of an ongoing issue: homophobia.     Bright, crisp writing and directing by C. Jay Cox, LATTER DAYS presents a tale of a West Hollywood effervescent young man who plays the bar scene and one …
About the reviewer
Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #208
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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About this movie


Christian (Wes Ramsey of the washboard abs) is a waiter, party boy, and first-class man magnet. Elder Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss of the goofy grin) is a straight-laced Mormon missionary. When he and three elders, including the uptight Ryder (Joseph Gordon-Levitt,Mysterious Skin), move into Christian's Hollywood apartment complex, it's clear something's got to give. Christian tries to make his new neighbors feel welcome, but they're put off by his flamboyance--the short-shorts, the rainbow flag in his yard, etc. When Christian's trash-talking pals at Lila's restaurant, including the cynical Traci (Amber Benson,Buffy the Vampire Slayer), bet that he can't seduce one of these clean-cut young men, he takes them up on it and sets his sights on cute, soft-spoken Aaron. As a pretense, he asks to learn more about his Church, but where they really connect is over their love of old movies, everything fromPsychotoTommy. When Aaron accuses him of being shallow, however, Christian starts to wonder if the bet wasn't such a good idea--plus he's starting to fall for the guy. Turns out the closeted Aaron feels the same way about him, but when his roommates find out, he's shipped back to Pocatello where he faces excommunication. Written and directed by C. Jay Cox (Sweet Home Alabama), a former Mormon missionary,Latter Daysfeatures Mary Kay Place as Aaron's disapproving mother and Jacqueline Bisset as the acerbic, yet supportive Lila.--Kathleen C. ...
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Director: C. Jay Cox
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: January 30, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
Runtime: 1hr 47min
Studio: Tla Entertainment Gr, TLA Releasing
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