Latter Days (movie)

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Title: Latter Days
Director: C. Jay Cox
Starring: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jacqueline Bisset
Distributers: Funny Boy Films
Amazon Buy/Watch Link
Genre: Drama/Romance
Country of Origin/Language: USA/English
Rating: R/Unrated
Released: 2003
Length:  107 minutes
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5


A guest review by Lasha

Summary: “Sometimes it all still feels like a mass of dots. But more and more these days, I feel like we’re all connected. And it’s beautiful…and funny…and good.” — Aaron Davis, Latter Days

BLURB

Sweet Home Alabama screenwriter C. Jay Cox directs the independent romance Latter Days. Christian (Wesley Ramsey) is a young gay party boy who lives in Southern California. When a group of good-looking Mormon missionary guys move into his apartment complex, he’s determined to pick one up. He ends up falling for sweet, innocent Mormon Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss), who’s secretly struggling with his sexuality. Aaron slowly falls for Christian, even though he thinks he’s shallow.
Source

THE REVIEW

Aaron is a Mormon missionary sent to Los Angeles by his church to spread the word of God. He’s young, naive and charmingly innocent. Christian, on the other hand, is young, beautiful, shallow and very much not innocent. He’s a typical Hollywood cliche: in town to become an actor, only waiting tables until his ‘big break.’ In fact Aaron and he couldn’t be more different. When they meet, it is instant sparks, but Aaron cannot acknowledge the growing attraction to his neighbor as his church excommunicates gays. As Aaron struggles with his sexuality, Christian makes a bet with his co-workers he can bag one of the Mormons who have moved into the building. Little does he know this act will be the event that makes Christian change, grow and finally fall in love. Can two star-crossed lovers ever find happiness?

I was so happy when I realized that no one had reviewed Latter Days. For about 5 years it was my number one favorite independent gay-themed film (now occupying second place since Shelter moved into #1). I have shown it to most of my friends and a few family members, even bought a few extra copies to pimp out the non-believers of how awesome this film is. Written and directed by C. Jay Cox (writer of Sweet Home Alabama), this is basically semi-autobiographical, and chronicles his experiences when he was a Mormon. So while the film is critical of The Church of Latter Day Saint’s stance on homosexuals, it, in my opinion, does not bash the Mormon religion or members.

At the center of the film is Aaron. Beautiful and naive, he is goodness personified and Christian is the temptation his mother (and church) warned him about. But he doesn’t listen to them, he listens to his heart and his heart loves Christian. Even after he is excommunicated and banished to gay rehab, Aaron believes in Christian. It is through Aaron the audience also falls in love with Christian. And despite the way their relationship starts (the bet), Christian finally gets his head on straight — so to speak — and does the right thing. Christian’s growth as a human being in this movie is the other thing I love about it. He goes from an insecure Stuart Alan Jones to a compassionate friend and lover all because of Aaron. The love story is the true heart of this movie. As Christian tells him in the climax of the film:

Christian: What if everything in my entire pathetic life, which I happen to love, has led to this point right now? What if, what if you’re the blinding light in the middle of the road that, that strikes me like the guy in, in…

Aaron: The Bible?

Christian: Yeah, him.

Aaron: Paul?

Christian: Yeah. And what if everything’s changed like that? And lions lay down with lambs and colors mix with whites. What if you’re the one that I’ve been waiting for my whole life and I let you go?
Aaron: You have no idea what I’d be giving up.

Christian: Dammit! What is wrong with you? You want revelations engraved in gold and angels trumpeting down from heaven. What if this is it instead? Me telling you I love you.

By the end of the movie, you are praying for Aaron and Christian’s happy ending — as they deserve it. Highly recommended.

OVERALL

Latter Days is one of those movies you can watch over and over again and it never gets dull or old, as with each viewing you peel back another layer that makes you love it all over again. The main characters resonate with you and the secondary characters shine with wit, warmth and humor. Steve Sandvoss and Wesley Ramsey excel in their portrayals of the lovers who struggle against external forces to pull them part. Combine this with a terrific soundtrack, a great directorial debut and you have a winner.

TRAILER


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About Lasha

I've been reading romance books since I was 12 and when I found m/m books a few years ago I feel madly in love with the genre. My favorites tropes are: GFY, police partners in love and May-December romances. I also adore paranormals and in my spare time away from Jessewave, I review pararmormal m/m books at my own blog. Give me a good shifter book and I'm a happy girl!

33 thoughts on “Latter Days (movie)

  1. Bogusia

    I hadn’t heard of this movie till five minutes ago when I saw your post, but it sounds absolutely facinating… Can’t wait to see it now.

    Thanks for the great review! :)

  2. Lilli

    I definitely missed out on too many great movies. Thanks for all these recs – I can’t wait to watch them. :)

  3. Gaycrow

    I really loved this movie too.

    I had a big crush on Steve Sandvoss for ages. :hearts01:

    I also have the book, which was written from the screenplay, if I remember correctly.

  4. closetquivers

    I love this movie and it made me cry a lot. Wonderful story, beautiful soundtrack and brilliant performances by the lead actors. :biglove:

  5. Jambrea

    Latter Days and Shelter are my two favorite movies. I watch them both over and over and over again. Great review!!

    I watched Shelter first. Got it from Netflix. Loved it so much I went out and bought it. I can’t remember where I first caught a glimpse of Latter Day, but knew after watching the first bit I had to own the movie.

  6. Aunt Lynn

    I loved this movie as well, Lasha. It and Shelter grace my shelves as keepers. In fact, I just watched Shelter again on Friday. So, shall we arm-wrestle over who is going to review that one? ;)

  7. Wave

    Lasha
    You’re costing me a lot of money with these damn movie reviews. :help: Now Latter Days is in my Amazon cart waiting to come home. :popcorn:

    1. Lasha

      Always happy to pick your pocketbook – your site did it to me for a while – returning the favor. :wink:

  8. Ethan Stone

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Latter Days. It’s an incredibly awesome movie. I own it and have watched it several times. The actors are so sweet and genuine. The plot is amazing.

    Shelter is another of my faves, as well.

  9. Angie

    Definitely agree — wonderful movie. I liked the way both characters had to grow and change, rather than one being right and the other having to realize it or whatever.

    Angie

  10. Dianne T.

    Another one here who lists this as an all time favorite and a multiple re-watch, along with Shelter. Wes Ramsey and Brad Rowe are favorite actors for me too. One of the things I remember upon first viewing of Latter Days is I actually was convinced for a while that the plot was going somewhere that, well, I couldn’t believe it would go and I wondered how on earth it could all be resolved. It’s all good :wink:

  11. Val Kovalin

    Lasha, great review! I saw this movie about a million years ago in a nearly deserted theater. The only other people in the audience were two gay male couples who looked at me like, “What is someone like you doing here?” They probably assumed I was a Mormon!

    1. Lasha

      I bought this movie because I read in an article it had been banned in UT. I figured I had to see it then. :)

  12. hannah

    I really liked this movie as well. I will have to look for “Shelter”
    Great review.

  13. L.C. Chase

    Wonderful review, Lasha. I loved this movie. I get all choked up for a bit there every time — doesn’t matter how many times I watch it.
    :sendoutlove:

  14. Raine

    LoveFilm finally delivered and I really enjoyed this film. Christian was a great character. Particularly liked the guys at the restaurant, their dialogue was so funny. Oh and Tara from Buffy too!

    Thanks so much for this recommendation Lasha.

  15. Susanne

    Lasha,thank you so much for the great review. Although I much prefer reading books than watching films I’ve got me a few movies (Shelter, Latter Days, Breakfast With Scot and Make The Yuletide Gay) – and I’m glad I did. I’ve now seen every movie a few times and I love them all. I would have definitly missed out.

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