SALT LAKE CITY – It’s a classic family movie storyline: daughter tells conservative dad that she’s going to get married, dad doesn’t approve of the groom, the groom desperately wants to please, and the new in-laws get weirded-out and want to call the whole thing off. But in One Good Man (2010), the usual climactic wedding scene has a twist – the in-laws aren’t even allowed inside the church to see their son marry. The conservative dad is a Mormon and, in accordance with the laws of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, he makes them wait outside. A family movie with a Hellfire slant, One Good Man wasn’t produced in Hollywood, Los Angeles. It was made in Mollywood, Utah. And it shows.
In the last ten years, Salt Lake City has been home to a thriving movie industry that few outside the LDS Church know about. There are plenty of Mormons working in mainstream Hollywood, like Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty) and Jared and Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). But there’s also a subculture of people making movies exclusively for members of the ultra- conservative LDS Church – a religious community that sometimes seems to be living in a different century.