Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Latter Days, the Movie

Have y'all seen this film about a young Mormon missionary and L.A. party boy who fall for each other but don't have an easy time?  I just watched it.

It's a touching movie with engaging characters and more than enough angst, even for the seriously angst-addicted.  And the love/sex scenes are truly beautiful -- some of the most visually and emotionally satisfying I've ever seen in gay cinema.  I liked the storyline too, for the most part, because I've always been drawn to its two main themes: attraction between opposites and the influence of religion on people's lives.

But I had my moments of discontent.

The biggest came at the end.  I found the plot's resolution very unsatisfying.


Considering Christian believed Aaron to be D-E-A-D dead and had been plunged in deep mourning for a while, and taking into account all kinds of other stuff to boot, the young men's reunion required far more than a ten-second, wordless hug. It needed buildup; it needed the kind of substantive emotional content that's conveyed via facial expressions, tears, exclamations/questions/answers, an appropriate setting, and some really adroit editing.  As it stands, the scene isn't only terse and flat but lacks believability.


My other beefs were relatively minor. The declaration of love came too quickly. It's possible -- and, I think, preferable -- to show characters developing a deep emotional bond without prematurely marching out the L word.  And what was with that hideously medieval rehab facility designed to turn gay boys straight?  While I know the CoJCoLDS has its own "reparative therapy" program, I seriously doubt 21st-century Mormons anywhere, even in Idaho, resort to the tactics depicted in this film.

I'll watch Latter Days again, though. It's certainly worth future viewings.


Tam said...

Oh no no no. Not my cup of tea. I can tell by your second big spoiler I'd likely ... I don't know, but it wouldn't be pretty. Glad you enjoyed it I do hate the "thought you were dead and mourned, but you're back, oh yay, lets have ice-cream" endings. Seriously? I think it needs more than that.

K. Z. Snow said...

Really, Tam, 99.9% of the movie is wonderful and well worth a watch. (And -- here comes the dirty cougar in me -- those two guys nekkid together is something to behold. Really, really breathtaking, those scenes.)

The resolution isn't frivolous, it just isn't protracted enough to carry the emotional punch it should.

Jeanne said...

Hey, KZ, long time no talk! Popped on over to catch up...too much to do so! BUT, I did see the movie and agree with you on all fronts (and backs...VBEG)
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K. Z. Snow said...

JEANNE! Oh my goodness, it's a treat to hear from you! I've been wondering how you've been doing. I'm crazy busy right now, but we obviously need to do some catching up. :)