LDS films can be classified into a number of genres, including: drama, documentaries, comedy, adventure, and romance, and you can argue that many of them target male or female audiences. It is difficult to classify movies into a gender-based genre without falling into stereotype, but I will suggest a few films that may have wider appeal to one gender over another. My purpose is not to stereotype, but to offer a basis for viewers to consider when selecting a movie that may be appealing to them.
Movies Targeted at Females
- Pride and Prejudice (2003)
The Jane Austin classic with a modern Mormon twist, Pride and Prejudice offers romance and comedy. The psychological complexity of reluctant love is explored from the female protagonist’s perspective in LDS pop culture. Based on one of literatures greatest love stories, though I’d say this is targeted at girls and women, it is one the guys may enjoy too.
- Charly (2002)
Based on Jack Weyland’s novel of the same name, Charley follows an unlikely love story. It is romantic, emotional, and modern in its treatment of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles in a relationship. It’s focus on relationships, particularly the female protagonist’s struggle, suggest that it is targeted more at females than males. However, the film also explores the male protagonist’s struggle with his beliefs, thus providing a story relatable to male viewers.
- Out of Step (2002)
Another movie about love relationships. Out of Step follows the story of a Salt Lake girl transplanted into New York to pursue her dream to study dance. What she isn’t prepared for is the ensuing love triangle. With a female protagonist and focus on a love relationship, this movie also seems squarely targeted at girls and women.
- Errand of Angels (2008)
A story about sister missionaries, this movie offers experiences and perspectives that women, particularly female returned missionaries can relate to. Most missionary movies follow the stories of elders and this movie attempts to fill the gap in this genre.
- Emma Smith: My Story (2008)
This film is a documentary following the story of Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma. The story of the prophet’s wife has only been lightly touched on in literature and certainly in cinema. I’m hesitant to list this as a film targeted at women because of its importance to both genders, but getting a female perspective on history is something that may be more relatable to female viewers.
Movies Targeted at Males
- Saints and Soldiers trilogy (2004; 2012; 2014)
These movies about Mormon military men are meant to appeal to a broader audience than LDS viewers. War movies, especially those with male soldiers, traditionally target a male audience. Stereotypically, violence and action seem to appeal more to males than females for reasons that are difficult to explain. However, the film explores deeper themes of loss, hurt, regret, innocence lost, and psychological trauma that men can relate to, though they may find hard to express externally. Women may also appreciate this subtly and insights on their male counterparts.
- Church Ball (2006)
Church Ball is one of many LDS films that focus on guys’ sports and activities. It includes underdog themes common in sports movies, as well as male camaraderie. Throw in some pop culture inside jokes and you have a movie targeted at males who have participated in church league basketball.
- Unitards (2010)
This film also follows a male group of protagonists coming together to form a team. However, unlike some other sports movies, the group is involved in a non-mainstream activity for men, that is, an all-boys dance team. This comedy may be targeted toward socially awkward males that defy odds for social acceptance.
- Outlaw Trail (2006)
This film is an action adventure movie targeted toward youth. Outlaws, treasure, and overcoming danger are a few things faced by the young protagonists, all boys but one. They go on an adventure to find a lost treasure left by Butch Cassidy, who happens to be one of the boy’s ancestor. One girl is added to the group, apparently to make it relatable to girls as well.