"Latter Days" is a film Written and Directed by C. Jay Cox who also has written the screen play for "Sweet Home Alabama" and recently Directed and Produced "Kiss the Bride." Latter Days is set in Los Angeles and is about a gay "pretty boy" who falls in love with a Mormon missionary that lives nearby. I had heard of this film before, but had never seen it, so I was quick to record it when I saw it would be on LOGO.
Unfortunately there was a malfunction with my digital video recorder and I was suddenly thrust sixteen minuets into the movie. Fortunately, I hadn't missed much and was able to quickly catch up on what was going on. The relationship between the two men originally starts when Christian (Wes Ramsey: Charmed) bets his roommate that he can convert one of the missionaries for $50.
After this point I could see that the story would be ridiculously similar to a gay She's All That and various other teen dramadies. Sure enough, through his interactions with the young Mormon boys, he discovers that one of them, Aaron (Steve Sandvoss: Rumor Has It, Kiss the Bride) is actually a closeted gay man and they eventually start a relationship.
The story is pretty predictable from this point. Here are the story progressions I was expecting; boy meets boy, boy falls for boy, boy looses boy, boy gets boy back and they live happily ever after. However, the cleaver writer threw in a nice plot twist which not only left me shocked and saddened, but took the movie from blah and predictable, to a touching romantic story. For those of you that might actually see this movie based on my review, I will not ruin it for you.
I was originally going to include a review of the actor's performances. While they did
a wonderful job, and the film would not have been the same with different actors, I believe the strength of this film was in its writing. There is an over arching idea in the film, that, as far as I saw, was introduced nearly half way through the film.
Aaron is sitting on a bench in front of a hospital consoling a woman who has recently pulled the plug on a loved ones life support. To comfort the woman he tells her about when he was a kid and he read the comics in the newspaper. He said that he used to put his face directly on the page and they appeared to him as a bunch of chaotic dots; we all know that if he were to pull his face away he would see the bigger picture. Aaron continues by saying that life is also a sequence of chaotic dots and events, but from God's perspective they are all connected, and it is beautiful, funny, and good.
The film itself does an amazing job incorporating this idea into the whole story. The film starts out with a bunch of chaotic dots, making the audience think it was a gay She's All That, but as the story progresses and the camera "pulls out" we see the real picture, the true story, and how everything is connected, and it is beautiful, and it is funny, and it is good.