C. Jay Cox (who also wrote Sweet Home Alabama) brings us a touching, heartwarming love story about Aaron, a closeted Mormon missionary, played by the handsome and endearing Steve Sandvoss, who falls for a West Hollywood, pretty boy, Christian, Wes Ramsey, while spreading the gospel in and around “Sodom and Gommorah”, Los Angeles.
The two cultures collide and the storyline, although a bit contrived at times, touches on some serious issues like, faith, homosexuality, AIDS, and teen suicide, but with a soft touch and is never forced upon you but opens it up for discussion and thought. C. Jay Cox grew up Mormon and brings us this story from his own personal views and draws upon his own experiences to tell the tale of love and redemption. It’s too bad that there wasn’t a theatrical as well as a director’s cut of this film as this could’ve made a great mainstream movie and should be seen by everyone. Unfortunately, it never made it to most theaters most likely due to the fact of the nudity, gay sex, and a couple of surreal sexual scenes. In any event, it has found its way to DVD and I highly recommend this to anyone, gay or straight.
Aaron lands in L.A. with three other “elders”, willing to give up television, radio, newspapers, etc left only to study and spread the Lord’s word. After moving into the same complex as Christian, the cute party boy who has an appetite for one night stands, and his best friend Julie, an upcoming singer, sparks and sexual tension begin to rise. Christina tells his pals at the restaurant, Lila’s, they all work at of his newfound complex mates and one of them bets he can’t bed one of the “elders” and all bets are on. As the story unfolds we find out Aaron has suppressed his homosexual tendencies and he frequently wakes at night to watch Christian arrive home with one of his tricks. It isn’t until Christian gets injured and Aaron takes him in, cleans his wounds, and the sexual tension between them begins to heat up. Moments they meet while doing laundry they discuss various issues regarding faith, love, and commitments and Christian begins to realize there’s more to life then just one--night stands and casual sex. One of his friends is involved with a meal delivery program to AIDS patients and Christian, with his new outlook on life, begins to help out. There are some wonderful exchanges between him and his client that are really touching.
Further along the story the other elders catch Aaron and Christian in a passionate embrace and with that Aaron is shipped back home and excommunicated from the church. Tensions rise with his family and there’s a fine performance by Mary Kay Place as his mother who never waivers with her position and religious beliefs. She fails to accept her son. Christian meanwhile is heartbroken and tries to reach him, as his friend Julie begins to make it in the music industry, and life goes on. Will Aaron’s family finally accept him? Will Christian find true love and with who? Will Julie make it big in the biz? These are the “Latter Days of Our Lives”. A wonderful story that is both heartwarming and charming I can’t recommend it enough. A perfect date movie!
The film also features some great supporting roles with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (kid from Third Rock from the Sun) as one of his missionary brethren, Jacqueline Bisset, owner of “Lila’s”, a restaurant where Christian and his friends work and hang out, Mary Kay Place, Aaron’s mother, and Rebekah Jordan, who gives a terrific performance as Christian’s best friend and confident. The movie also features a fine soundtrack with songs written by C. Jay Cox, one performed by Toad the Wet Sprocket, among others. The DVD extras also include 3 music videos by Rebekah Jordan whose voice is strong and mesmerizing. Also included on the DVD are a featurette, a short film, trailers and a commentary track.
Edited by - netguy on Sep 20 2004