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August 28, 2009

Cowboys & Angels

by Franz Patrick

Cowboys & Angels (2003)
★★★ / ★★★★

The premise of “Cowboys & Angels,” directed by David Gleeson, was a shy and a bit naive 20-year-old (Michael Legge) who moves into the city because he wishes to have more excitement in his life. While looking a place to live, he gets paired up with a gay fashion student (Allen Leech). I’m glad this did not turn out to be one of those movies where the main character meets someone gay and realizes that he, too, was gay. In fact, I’m glad that this film wasn’t just about one thing. There’s something very modern about it; I felt like I watching a movie from the perspective of a real twentysomething. It was able to balance several subplots with ease: Legge’s frustration with being laughed at by girls whenever he shows interest in them, his inner conflict between being a civil servant or a student in an art school, his blossoming friendship with Leech, his unattainable crush (Amy Shiels) who has a history of dating women, and his temptations toward drugs to soothe his loneliness. Right from the get-go, I was interested in getting to know the lead character because he seemed to have this inner charm that most people failed to see (maybe it’s because of his lack of sense of style?). I thought the best parts of the film were the scenes when he would try to make a connection, sometimes to the point of borderline desperation, to the point where I just felt bad for him. I remember thinking, “Aww, I’ll be your friend!” because it was easy to tell that the constant rejections were eating him from the inside. I also enjoyed the scenes between Legge and Leech just hanging out in their apartment. They had this sort of bromance going on and it was really cute. That scene when Leech told Legge, “I’m going to do to you what I’ve always wanted to do ever since I laid my eyes on you” (or something along those lines) was really funny. I thought this film was going to be one of those thoughtless LGBT films but it turned out to be pretty unpredictable. If you enjoy LGBT films, see this movie if you can because it just might surprise you.


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