Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Flix: Latter Days

Latter Days is the story of a nineteen year old Mormon boy, Aaron, who comes to L.A. to do his two years of missionary work. He and the other missionaries move next door to a gorgeous and promiscuous gay man, Christian, and his best friend who's a musician. When Christian makes a bet with his friends that he can seduce one of the Mormon missionaries it leads to a bittersweet love story.

I'm going to tell you all right now that this is one of my favorite movies and has been for a very long time. One of the things I love about the movie is the small parts that make up the bigger picture. My favorite scene is the moment when Christian and Aaron first see each other. Aaron is in the taxi that's picked him up from the airport and Christian is outside of the restaurant where he waits table. The taxi stops at a stoplight and the two men lock eyes and it's like in the old movies when you know the two characters are destined to be together. I also love the impromptu conversations that Aaron and Christian have where they find that they have things in common like how they both like to quote movies. It's those little things that make me believe in their connection every time I watch the film.

Latter Days takes on the issue of religion and homosexuality in a way that makes it accessible to the audience. You see Aaron have doubts and you know he knows that he's gay but, for me, the movie was more about him being drawn to someone that makes him realize that he might be something more than what's expected of him. The movie is realistic though because that realization doesn't make everything easier for Aaron. Not at all.

I loved Aaron because while he was a bit naive he was also full of deep thoughts about the world and the way he saw it. He sees everything in his life as having meaning. One of my favorite scenes is when Christian tells Aaron that a kiss doesn't have to mean anything and Aaron backs away because to him it means everything.

That brings me to Christian who grows so much during the film. Everybody just sees Christian as a shallow pretty boy and Christian is happy to be that until Aaron challenges him to be something more. Christian finds that he wants to believe in something. He wants to stand for something.

When Aaron and Christian finally come together it's beautiful and the results are also tragic. The first time I saw this movie I cried for Aaron. I cried for the fact that things like that happen to people with spirits so beautiful and pure.

Aaron and Christian's story, in the end, is uplifting and gorgeous making this one of the best movies I've seen and earning it a place in my top ten. I highly recommend this story of how love and people triumph.

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