This past weeken, I watched Lattere Days. This is a tale about a gay man, Christian, living in Los Angeles who meets, sets out to bed, and eventually falls in love with anotehr young man by the name of Aaron. Of course, Christian’s plans are complicated by the fact that Aaron is a missionary for the LDS church, just starting his two year mission.
The remarkable part about this movie is that it’s not just a movie about a young man from a religiously conservative background coming to terms with his sexual orientation and being excommunicated from his church (and presumably biological) family. This is also a movie wherein a cynical and superficial gay man begins to take a closer look at his own life and initiates a search to give it deeper meaning. In effect, this movie seeks to strike the balance between criticizing harmful repression and taking an honest look at the emptiness that can come from the superficiality we sometimes fall into while trying to escape the latter. In effect, both boys face their own demons as a result of coming into each others lives.
The scenes between Aaron and his mother after he’s found out and sent home are well done. Particularly, the scene where Aaron challenges his mother to actually look at him is quite incredible, and something that I think most gay people with religiously (or otherwise) conservative parents can appreciate on some level. Of course, even Aaron’s mother has her moment, when confronted with Christian’s act of love in coming to Idaho just to tell her how sorry he is for the loss of her son (at this point, Christian was falsely led to believe that Aaron had committed suicide).
This was truly a touching movie, and one I think many people will be able to connect with on one level or another.