Latter Days (2003) is American BL/Gay Movie. Latter Days is a 2003 American romantic comedy-drama about the homosexual affair between a secret Mormon missionary and his openly gay neighbor. The film was written and directed by C. Jay Cox, with Steve Sandvoss, Aaron and Wes Ramsey playing neighbor Christian as missionaries. Joseph Gordon-Levitt appears as Elder Ryder and Rebekah Johnson appears as Julie Taylor. Mary Kay Place, Khary Payton, Erik Palladino, Amber Benson, and Jacqueline Bisset have supporting roles.
Latter Days premiered at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on July 10, 2003, and was released in several states of the United States over the next 12 months. Later, the movie was released in several other countries and was screened at several gay film festivals. It was the first film to explicitly depict the conflict between the principles of Jesus Christ’s Church of Latter-day Saints and homosexuality, and its display in some US states was controversial. Various religious groups demanded that the film be pulled from movie theaters and video stores under threat of boycott.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was popular with most film festival attendees. But at the North American box office, Latter Days only earned $ 834,685 and barely covered production costs with an estimated budget of $ 850,000. In 2004, freelance writer T. Fabris turned the Latter Days, published by Alyson Publications, into a novel.
Latter Days Synopsis
Old Aaron Davis, a young Mormon from Pocatello, Idaho, is sent to Los Angeles with three other missionaries to spread the Mormon faith. They move into an apartment next to openly gay party boy Christian Markelli and his roommate Julie, an aspiring singer. Christian and Julie work as waitresses at Lila’s, a popular restaurant owned by retired actress Lila Montagne.
Christian makes a bet with his colleagues that he can seduce one of the Mormons, and soon realizes that the most inexperienced missionary Aaron is a secret gay. Aaron and Christian meet after a few encounters in the apartment complex. When Christian accidentally cuts a metal hose reel and faints, Aaron helps him inside and clears his wound. Christian tries to seduce Aaron, but a hesitant Mormon is uncomfortable with Christian’s promise that sex “means nothing.” Aaron accuses him of being shallow and he gets out. Worried that Aaron is right, Christian joins Project Angel Food and distributes food to people with AIDS.
Aaron’s missionary friend Paul Ryder is involved in a bicycle accident. Distraught Aaron encounters Christian returning to his apartment and tries to comfort him with a hug. Both men are overwhelmed with their emotions and eventually fail to notice the return of Aaron’s roommates, and begin to kiss. Aaron is sent home in shame, causing Christian to confront Ryder, who is angry with his corruption of Aaron for no reason. Christian initially admits that he just wanted to win a bet, but now says “it’s not about that”. Realizing Christian’s distress, Ryder tells him that Aaron’s plane will take a five-hour break in Salt Lake City.
Christian finds Aaron standing in the snow outside the airport terminal. Christian confesses his love, and despite all his worries, Aaron accepts his own love feelings. All flights canceled by a blizzard, Christian and Aaron have an intimate night at a motel. When Christian wakes up, he sees Aaron gone. Aaron’s pocket watch, a family heirloom, is left behind. Christian returns to Los Angeles. In Idaho, Aaron is excommunicated by church elders led by his father, Farron, the stake head. Aaron is rejected by his father and scolded by his mother, who tells him to pray for forgiveness. When Aaron says he might be gay, his mom slaps him. Desperate, Aaron attempts suicide. Later, she is sent by her family to a treatment facility to get rid of her homosexuality.
Christian is desperate to find Aaron and finds his home address and phone number. Harun’s mother said to him, “Thanks to you, my son took a razor to his wrists; I lost my son because of you.” Believing that Aaron is dead, Christian spends the next few days constantly thinking of Aaron. Julie discovers an entry in her cellphone diary about Christian’s emotions and uses it as the basis for her new song. Christian goes to Davis’ house in Idaho where he gives Aaron’s watch to his mother. During an encounter with Julie, she hesitantly shows her her new video, causing Christian upset and realizes that some of the lyrics came from his personal diary without his consent. Julie tells Christian that she hopes something better will come from this.
In the treatment facility, Aaron hears a female voice singing and investigates. He discovers a music video played on television, the song Julie sang. The video prompts Aaron to return to Los Angeles to look for Christian. Upon reaching Christian’s apartment, Aaron is heartbroken when a stranger opens the door. Thinking that Christian’s party boy is returning and moving on, Aaron goes to Lila’s restaurant, who befriends his owner while in missionary work after his life partner dies. Christian who works there comes out and is delighted to see Aaron alive. They reconcile with Christian’s colleagues and later celebrate Thanksgiving. Lila tells everyone, no matter what happens, there will always be “a place at my table and a place in my heart”.
Latter Days Details
- Directed by: C. Jay Cox
- Produced by Jennifer Schaefer, Kirkland Tibbels
- Written by C. Jay Cox
- Starring Steve Sandvoss, Wes Ramsey, Rebekah Johnson, Jacqueline Bisset, Amber Benson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Khary Payton
- Music by Eric Allaman
- Cinematography Carl Bartels
- Edited by John Keitel
- Production Companies Funny Boy Films, Davis Entertainment Filmworks
- Distributed by TLA Releasing
- Release date July 10, 2003 (PIGLFF) January 30, 2004 (US)
- Running time 108 minutes
- Country United States
- Language English
- Budget $850,000
- Box office $834,685
- Genre: Comedy, Romance, LGBTQ, BL
Latter Days Trailer
Latter Days Music / OST / Soundtrack
Eric Allaman made the soundtrack for the film after the shooting was completed and composed most of the music himself. A few scenes that show the passage of time, such as Christian’s desperate search for Aaron at Salt Lake City Airport, were recorded with techno-style beats, and scenes with emotional content were given a more “ambient” tronica feel. ” A total of three songs were written for “More”, “Another Beautiful Day” and “Tuesday 03:00 am.” Allaman was impressed by Cox’s musical talent and both men composed more songs as background music.
The official soundtrack album was released on October 26, 2004. Johnson was not featured on the album for contractual reasons and was voiced by Nita Whitaker instead of his character’s songs.
Latter Days Awards
- 2003 21. Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Audience Award Outstanding First Narrative Feature
- 2003 9. Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature
- 2003 13. Washington D.C. Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature
- 2003 8. Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Audience Award Best Narrative Feature
- 2003 11. ImageOut Filmfestival – Rochester Audience Award Best Independent Feature
- 2003 14. Fresno Reel Pride Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature Film
- 2004 17. Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature Film
- 2004 14. Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival Audience Award Best Feature Film or Video
- 2004 Lesgaicinemad (Madrid Gay & Lesbian Film Festival) Audience Award Best Feature Film
- 2005 Hong Kong Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Audience Favorite
- 2005 Outtakes New Zealand Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature
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