Film #63: Latter Days (2003)

20120903-172946.jpgDirector: C. Jay Cox
Language: English
Length: 107 minutes
Watched on: 9 August 2012

Whenever I’ve seen a guide to gay-interest films online this film has always come up. Despite generally being held in quite high regard (at least compared to other gay movies, which isn’t saying much, frankly) it’s never really appealed to me so much, so I never sought it out – it was only on a friend’s recommendation that I finally got around to watching it last month.

It was OK. Its plot is very simple (gay guy falls in love with closeted guy, drama ensues), and we’ve seen that many times before. It’s perhaps one of the few that tackles mormon homophobia more-or-less head-on, though, and it’s an interesting look at the way gays are treated by mormons. The closeted guy, who’s a mormon missionary, is exceedingly cute, although I wasn’t too keen on the lead character (a Promiscuous Gay) lookswise.

One of the most interesting things was actually seeing a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a fellow missionary who’s particularly homophobic (in stark contrast to certain other roles he’s played since). It’s perhaps hinted later that he relents his homophobia because he knows what it’s like to be heart-broken.

It’s quite rare to see a film about the way the mormon missionaries live their lives – they’re all packed off to a faraway city to an austere apartment where they theoretically can have no temptations. It’s a far cry from any life I know from my own experience. But it’s depressing later on when you catch a glimpse into the way gays are actually treated by mormons, after it’s found out that that guy was gay.

As for the ending of the film, it was a bit manipulative. I’ll just leave it at that, in case anyone wants to watch it, but you are specifically led to believe that something major was the case when it wasn’t. Maybe the ending wouldn’t have worked without that plot twist, but it felt contrived.

All in all, it was OK. It was above average for gay films, but that’s not very hard to beat. There are plenty of better gay films out there, I’d say. But it’s certainly not bad.

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3 Responses to Film #63: Latter Days (2003)

  1. This was the 2nd gay movie I saw (first was Shelter) and at the time and I really enjoyed it. The 2nd time I attempted to watch it, well…

  2. Finlay says:

    … not so good? ;p

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