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film & tv reviews

Latter DaysLatter Days

Superdrewby November 2004

Starring: Steve Sandvoss, Wes Ramsey, Rebekah Jordan, Amber Benson, Khary Payton, Jacqueline Bisset
Directed and written by C. Jay Cox
TLA Releasing September 2004

A movie that boasts an LA Party boy and hunky Mormon farmboy coming to terms with his sexuality certainly has the right ingredients to make a gay boy wet his pants in anticipation. Latter Days lives up to its fantasy potential, but delivers more than just a quick gay love flick.

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The very hunky blonde Mormon boy Aaron (Steve Sandvoss) has been sent to Los Angeles for his two years of missionary work by his extremely religious family. When he moves into a housing complex full of gay boys his underlying sexuality starts to bubble to surface. His very attractive neighbor LA Party Boy Christian (Wes Ramsey) who believes in nothing other than finding his next sexual conquest, sets his sights on “converting” attractive Aaron and wining a bet that he can’t get one of the Mormons into bed.

Christian’s plan start to go awry as Aaron ignites something in Christian that he has never felt before that make him question his shallow life.

While there have been many gay love stories of boys coming out and finding love for the first time there is a raw depth to this film. Religious persecution of homosexuality in the Church of Latter Day Saints is relatively stereotyped as is the questioning of the gay party lifestyle and Christian’s hedonistic lifestyle. But the stereotype is broken by the true and very real growth by both Christian and Aaron. Rather than a superficial quick growth that seems to happen in a day, there is a painful journey of self discovery that takes time and is believable.

Although the twists in the story are relatively obvious and some of the characters stereotyped, this is still a worthy story. There really are the boys like this out there in the world living in these self imposed clichés without even understanding that they are living a stereotype!,

Fate plays an important role the movie as a series of random coincidences serve to bring people together in the most unusual of ways. An amazing supporting cast including Jacqueline Bisset as the classy Lila help weave a series of random incidents together into a touching story. “I don’t believe in coincidences, These days, I believe in miracle’s” Lila (Jacqueline Bisset).

Steve Sandross (Aaron) lights up the screen as the buff Mormon boy and is utterly convincing as the Mormon missionary just from the farm. Whilst his performance at times is a bit wooden and you feel like he’s trying not to laugh, the emotions he portrays are touching and extremely believable. It doesn’t hurt at all that there is one extremely hot love scene where the camera makes love to him and his body as he consummates his entry to hell by sleeping with Christian.

Wes Ramsey as the shallow party boy Christian is perfect and we can feel his confusion while everything he believes in is questioned.

The music sung by Julie (Rebekah Jordan) are not the greatest love songs we have ever heard, but they are seminal in helping bring the series of coincidences together. There are several extremely disturbing scenes that make you cringe, including a suicide and homosexual aversion therapy. But let’s not forget that this sort of thing happens every day throughout the world as religion attempts to stamp out homosexuality.

This is a love story that shakes their lives of Aaron and Christian questioning their core values and beliefs. This is a movie that is well worth adding to the collection to watch again and again.

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