I remember hearing about this movie as a TBM. I think I received an email (which I no doubt dutifully forwarded on to my entire address book), denouncing this evil film that makes a mockery of the Divine missionary calling which is about a gay man seducing a Mormon missionary and features a pornographic love scene with the missionary (and no doubt they mentioned the gratuitous display of the sacred Temple garment). Most likely there was a link to an online petition against the movie, which I'm sure I dutifully signed.
This film was originally to be shown in the "Madstone" theater in Salt Lake City, Utah (which has a heavy LDS population) on the day of its national release, but the theater pulled it a few weeks before it was scheduled to open. The reason given was that the film "lacked artistic merit", but the film's promoters contend that the theater management gave in to local pressure not to show the film due to its unflattering portrayal of the LDS Church.From Wikipedia:
Latter Days premiered at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on July 10, 2003. The audience enjoyed the film so much that they gave it a standing ovation. . . . The film had a similar reception both at Outfest a week later, and at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.It is now ranked the #3 Gay Film by the LGBT community at AfterElton.com, and #1 among MoHos. And no, it isn't because of Prop 8.
What I had heard about this movie was completely wrong and it is full of artistic merit. Yes, "Latter Days" is about a homosexual relationship between a closeted Mormon missionary and his openly gay neighbor in his first area, but it is an honest portrayal of the plight of homosexual Mormons. Yes, it would be uncomfortable for TBMs to watch, but it does not make a mockery of the church. Homosexual Mormons, of course, will relate to the story, but so will homosexuals from any conservative religious background who have had to face the "judgments of God" from their religious communities and families. And apparently many other homosexuals relate to the openly gay neighbor as he seeks to find a something beyond himself. It is a touching love story. Available on Netflix "Watch it Now", two thumbs up, five stars, and all that.
After evaluating my own mission experiences, I can't help but reflect on how much of Latter Days could have happened to me if things had turned out only a little bit differently.
Have you seen this movie? In what ways did you relate to it?