LATTER DAYS is a film that is funny, moving, and that far exceeds expectations. So does its writer/director, C. Jay Cox. I’ve rarely chatted with anyone so engaging and so wickedly funny. But don’t be fooled, this is an inteligent, thoughtful guy who has the worldview that can only the found in a gay Hollywood screenwriter who grew up Mormon in Idaho and whose mother was a champion calf roper. Hence a film about a gay Mormon on a missionary trip to Los Angeles.
When we talked on April 2, 2004, the conversation delved into the niceties of torturing a leading man with ice water, the dangers of making one’s cinematographer carsick, and what it means to be able to make a film that speaks to so many people that wouldn’t otherwise have a voice.
LATTER DAYS is a cut above the rest for its gentle message about finding the strength to see other people, all people, with new eyes. Cox makes a compelling case, not for religion, which comes in for its share of battering here as does hedonism for its own sake, but rather for a true spirituality that goes deeper than hanging crystals or the hollow recitation of a ritual. Sure, there are some coincidences in the plot that strain credulity, but if you go with a synchronicity point of view, as in fate or heaven or whatever, it’s not entirely insurmountable.