Cowboys & Angels

I’m not sure how or why I started watching this film when it screened this morning on “World Movies”, but I do remember seeing the title on the program guide and thinking, “oh yeh, I’m sure that’ll be interesting and it’ll only take an hour or so out of my life, so what the hey…” And it was interesting, a really good film and only occasionally did I feel that it went a little too far.

The basic plotline for the film concerns what happens when a small town farm boy, Shane, moves into a share house with Vincent, a seemingly more sophisticated fashion design student (read “gay”) in Limerick, Ireland. I think they’d previously gone to school together and so their living situation doesn’t seem at all forced.

On occasion the film delves into cliche, especially as Vincent does a “queer eye makeover” (twenty years ago, they would have called it Pygmalion-like) of Shane. I also felt pretty uncomfortable with the drug plotline that develops, as it just seems to so out of character, though I understand its role in testing and cementing their growing friendship. There’s also a scene in which Shane’s sexuality is tested, which I thought just didn’t need to happen.

Although there is a gay theme to the movie it’s not what you’d call a “gay movie”, as there’s no tortured story of coming out as is so often the case with coming of age movies in which one of the lead character is gay. This is a more complex and rewarding film, showing great humour, intelligence and depth and one which I’d highly recommend.

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