Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2012. Lake Productions. Screenplay by Jon Garcia. Cinematography by Christopher Stephens. Music by Jon Garcia, Raelyn Olson. Production Design by Courtney Jo Barnes. Costume Design by Courtney Jo Barnes. Film Editing by Jon Garcia, William Schultz. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies
Twenty years old and ready to take up his spiritual burden, RJ makes his way to Oregon to assume the mantle of “Elder Smith” and perform his missions work for his Mormon Faith. He bunks with Elder Merrill, a young man in a similar situation, and they face the ignorance of the town’s population before realizing a mutual affection that turns to deep love and good sex. This means, of course, that their belief system is being challenged given that they aren’t even supposed to drink caffeine, but somehow they don’t seem much bothered by it, preferring instead to cling to each other and the chance they have to be happy together. Appealing actors and a director who doesn’t underestimate his audience with the contrived situations or bad dialogue of Latter Days keep this from being a lamentable mess, though the small budget and lack of technical finesse can’t be ignored either. There are details about character background missing from these guys who go from religious apostates to secular hedonists with barely a twitch of doubt; that they’re so affable at least makes the slim experience easy to take, and RJ’s speech to his superiors at the end is a very fine scene.