When I lived in New York City one of my close friends was a lapsed Mormon. He discovered he was gay as a teen and cut all ties between himself and his family by mutual consent. He worked first as a dancer and later as a makeup artist. My friend was from the Las Vegas area and his partner was a New York City person. Later he did contract AIDS and did die in 1991. There was no effort by the family to even acknowledge him. His partner who also had the virus had the expense of burying him which a group of friends helped him with. And when his partner died in 1993 there was no mention of the lover who passed on at the service that his family held. Watching this film so reminded me of my friends Kim Sherwood and Paul Pastorella. Kim came to grips with his sexuality early on so unlike the character Aaron, he was never that involved with the Church of Latter Day Saints in that manner. And he was in fact more of a party animal like the Christian character. At least when I knew him. But both of my friends Paul and Kim had each other and that was enough. And like Aaron and Christian they had a circle of sustaining friends. You could see at the end of the film Aaron and Christian had developed such a circle. Aaron was in a church that certainly had one of the strictest disciplines going in the Christian world. The family that Christian described may have been more secular, but not any less homophobic. It's the homophobic cultural values that nearly smothers both of them. One scene I particularly liked was the ex-communication church trial that Aaron was subjected to when his homosexuality was discovered. Aaron made the Elders most uncomfortable by pointing out the polygamous lifestyle that their ancestors had. Certainly an alternative lifestyle back then. In fact until the LDS church changed its teachings on polygamy, Utah could not gain admission to the United States until 1897. The issue is still being debated today in some quarters. Latter days is a poignant and tender gay love story. Both Aaron and Christian through exposure to each other grew as people as they grew in their love. Kudos to Steve Sandvoss as Aaron, Wes Ramsey as Christian and the rest of the cast and this film ought to be required viewing for all of us, but especially the young.
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Comedy / Drama / Romance
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A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.
November 24, 2021