I rented this film Latter Days the other day. Considering that it was the project of a first time director and starred a couple of rookie actors, I thought the film was quite well done. In other words, it isn't perfect but the charm of the leads and the spirit of the film carry it well over the odd rough spots. The fact that the two leads are both very handsome was also a bonus! On balance I really enjoyed it, in fact I watched it twice before taking the DVD back to the video store.
What I didn't expect was my emotional reaction to it. You see the film is a tale of star crossed lovers, with the Mormon Church and the huge cultural edifice built around the church as the divide between the Montagues and the Capulets. I won't give away the plot (rent it, I'm certain you'll find the film enjoyable) but it touched on a few places in me that had me crying out of all proportion with how happy/sad the film was. I walked around for a few hours afterwards with a lump in my throat, feeling like I could cry at any moment.
I tried to put together what it was that upset me so. I think it touched on a part of me that is missing having a big love in my life. I don't particularly feel lonely, but I think there is a nugget of loneliness there that was touched by the romance in the film. A feeling of being overlooked. A need to feel that someone has said I choose you, above all others. A want to have that sort of excitement where the sight of someone's face across a crowded room makes you happy, safe, wanted. It isn't just about me either, I feel the need to channel my love, to care about someone deeply.
Also, when I was at the end of my teens I had a boyfriend who came from a Mormon background. He had a terrible time with his family, they threw him out of home and he ended up sleeping in their garage at one point. Years later, after we both moved on and lost touch, I found out that he had killed himself, when mutual old friends of ours tracked me down to see if I had contact details for his family, who he hadn't spoken to in years. Through a Mormon chap I worked with, and the extensive Mormon database, we tracked down his parents. At first they refused to collect his body or identify him, but with the help of their local pastor's intervention they eventually did and Michael was laid to rest. So I think part of my reaction, on top of the pity party about my own life, was a core of sadness I have carried around for years about what happened to Michael and about the walls of prejudice and religion that some people hide behind. RIP, sweetie.