American Beauty won five Academy Awards, grossed $130 million and gave a nice boost to the careers of Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning, not to mention newcomers Wes Bentley and Mena Suvari. However, it caused barely a ripple in the life of Scott Bakula, who played half of an idylic gay couple in the 1999 film.

"It hasn't opened doors," the former Quantum Leap star tells TV Guide Online. "Not at all. But it's a nice, wonderful gift to be associated with."

Bakula could use those same words to desribe his new film Luminarias, a low-budget comedy about four middle-aged Latina women looking for love in Los Angeles. Playing in limited release since May, the film — in which Bakula appears as one of the potential suitors — has developed a bit of a cult following among females.

"I loved what it had to say about life in Los Angeles, and in any multi-cultural situation around the world," explains the actor, who currently is producing and starring in the CBS holiday-themed movie Papas Angels, set to air Dec. 3.

And although Luminaries wasn't a big studio film like American Beauty, Bakula says working on the indie gave him "great perspective. Everybody should do this once in a while just to remember what it's like, because this is where we all started. It's great perspective.

"When you believe in something and you're doing it for love and for the art of it, which we dont always get to do in our business, and if you go into it with the right sprit, it can be a great experience" he adds. "And this was one of those."