a film by C Jay Cox
2003 | 104 mins | US
›› Latter Days
gay love in the face of the Mormon Church.
Latter Days by C Jay Cox Cue the life of Christian Markelli; a fun loving party-boy prone to showing straight men 'the gay way' and who here thinks all his prayers have been answered when he chances upon blond Adonis Aaron Davis. Only trouble being that Aaron prays at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not that Christian is averse to trying to separate Mormon missionaries from their sacred undergarments. And when one of the missionaries new to his West Hollywood apartment complex turns out to be Elder Davis, his quest by way of a bet from his friends and fellow waiters at the trendy Lila Montagne restaurant, takes on a whole new significance.

Only this is not a game of seduction, at least not for Elder Davis. For him, it is a struggle to reconcile his strict religious beliefs with his longing for same-sex intimacy. For Christian however, it's just sex. Or is it? For could the impossible have happened and the man with a-liking for casual sex, have fallen in love?

Latter Days by C Jay Cox In many ways this is a simple tale; namely how a Mormon missionary comes to improve the life of a sex-obsessed hedonist, who in turn opens up the heart of a man to finally be at ease with his suppressed sexuality. To that end, Steve Sandvoss as Elder Davis and Wes Ramsey as the party-boy of the piece give fitting and sexually frank performances throughout, with Rebekah Jordan aka Rebekah Johnson, Khary Payton and Jacqueline Bisset as Christian's compassionate boss Lila on hand to provide excellent support. Yet the real star turns are courtesy of Erik Palladino and Mary Kay Place, respectively cast as Christian's new found HIV-positive friend Keith and Aaron's mother Gladys; a woman who can forgive her son an 'error of sexual judgement' but not his acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle.

Premiered in Great Britain as part of the 18th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 2004, Latter Days is that rare cinematic breed that combines drama, comedy and music within the context of religion and homosexuality and in this specific case, those who accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God. Sure it occasionally heads off in some surprising directions, including a couple of surreal dream sequences, but it is also a film not afraid to show the acts associated with homosexuality, including scenes of male nudity and lovemaking.

For make no mistake, this is a gem of a film from a writer and director who in delivering a sermon on the inner struggles faced by those who devote their lives to a doctrine that forbids their very sexuality, has equally gone out of his way to showcase a good old-fashioned love story, one that goes to show that life is more than just a series of one-night stands, or rather as here, more than just a mass of dots. That this was a project of love for Cox is clearly evident. It is also a global charmer, high on production values and gay entertainment. Need more be said?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
screened as part of the 18th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2004
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
starring: Steve Sandvoss, Wes Ramsey, Jacqueline Bisset, Mary Kay Place, Erik Palladino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
Rebekah Jordan, Khary Payton, Amber Benson, Jim Ortlieb, Dave Power, Rob McElhenney,
Linda Pine, Bob Gray, Judith Morton Fraser
Copyright 2004 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #044
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