In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.
After his gay cousin dies from hepatitis, young Laurent, who lives with his best friend Carole, falls in love with Cedric, a plant scientist. He's afraid to inform his conservative parents that he is gay.
A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.
Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss) and Christian Markelli (Wes Ramsey) are perhaps the two most opposite people in the world. Aaron is a passionate young Elder (a Mormon missionary) who wants to do his family and church proud. Christian is a shallow West Hollywood waiter/party boy who only looks forward to what man the next night will bring to him. After Aaron and three other Elders move into the apartment across from his, Christian's friends make a bet that he can't get one of them into the sack, so he instantly latches onto Aaron, suspecting there is more than meets the eye to him. There are two problems, though: Christian finds himself questioning his own identity as he falls in love with Aaron and the Mormon Church treats homosexuality as a sinful lifestyle. When Aaron's burgeoning sexuality is discovered, they will have to go through trials of regret, loss, perseverance, and forgiveness if they want to get to the thing that matters to them most: each other. Written by
Latter Days touched me unexpectedly in many ways. I knew little about the film before I saw it on DVD, and really had few expectations. I am no movie critic, and probably see fewer flicks than most people. But I know what I like, and I know when something tugs at my soul. Few movies exist that I have wanted to see more than once. This is one, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is soulsearching.
Maybe it is stereotypical, and maybe its not Academy Award material (I like few that are), but it really touched some hot buttons with me, and it moved me to tears in the end. I thought that Cox and company did a great job summing up such deep subject matter in such a short time.
For those who think it's hoaky, I say relax, its just a movie. I lived many parts of the real-life version of this story, and it wasn't always pretty. While never a Mormon, I have "wrestled with the angel" for most of my adult life, still trying to reconcile my gay being with my spiritual being. Long-term denial of my sexual identity at an early age led me into a lengthy struggle with drugs and alcohol and a near-death experience 11 years ago. I even looked into aversion therapy once as a way to "cure" myself from homosexuality. Trust me, its better to see this unfold in a movie than to have lived it.
While it may be steeped in stereotype and clichés, as many critics have suggested, Latter Days manages to expose many shallow traits among the major elements in this story: organized religion, gay culture and even Hollywood itself (I love how Cox portrayed L.A. as an additional "character" in the movie).
I thought that the acting was terrific, especially Sandvoss as Aaron Davis. The music is as touching as the story (I recommend the soundtrack too). I can't speak for most moviegoers, but this one will stick with me for a while, and few ever do.
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