Cowboys & Angels Movie Review

One of the sweetest Irish movies to come along since Waking Ned Devine, Cowboys & Angels is the simple coming-of-age story of 20-year-old Shane Butler (Michael Legge), who's starting off life in Limerick City by settling into his boring government job with the Department of Agriculture and looking for a roommate so he can afford a downtown flat.

Enter Vincent (Allen Leech), a charismatic and thoroughly winning gay fashion student who Shane vaguely knew back at school. The two bump into each other in town, join forces for the flat hunt, and eventually find a nice place with plenty of room for Vincent's extensive vintage wardrobe.

Shane, who fancies himself something of an artist and is jealous of Vincent's art school endeavors and his bustling gay lifestyle, looks in the mirror and finds himself hopelessly frumpy. "Don't worry, we can rebuild you," says the cheerful Vincent, who wonders if Shane may be even more interested in the gay lifestyle than he cares to admit to himself. A quick shopping spree at the local thrift shop ensues, and Vincent makes Shane look much cooler. The chic clubs (chic for Limerick anyway) that turned him away now welcome him.

At the same time, Shane gives in to temptation and agrees to help his shady drug-dealing neighbor, Keith (David Murray), by transporting drugs from Dublin back to Limerick. The money, 800 euros per trip, is too hard to resist, especially since the longer Shane hangs around Vincent, the more he's inspired to ditch his civil service job and "follow his dream," "be true to himself," "go for the gusto," and whatever other cliché you care to use.

Things come to a head when Shane's elderly co-worker Jerry (Frank Kelly), a man who admits he stayed in the civil service for 40 years simply because he was too scared to do anything else, dies at his own retirement party, a particularly cruel twist of fate. Now Shane is even more motivated to dream big, but will a run-in with the Limerick police and their narcotics squad ruin everything?

Everything in Cowboys & Angels, even the somewhat ugly drug subplot, transpires with youthful energy and good humor. Legge and Leech play well off each other, with the questions of their attraction to each other woven deftly throughout the story but never overwhelming it with prurience. These are two lads you wouldn't mind going out with for a few pints, and you find yourself hoping that Shane will achieve his dream of becoming an artist and that Vincent will eventually make it from an obscure Limerick art school all the way to New York, his ultimate goal. Heck, it's a long way from Limerick to anywhere. Good luck, boys.

Saddle up, let's ride!

Cast & Crew

Director :


Comments

Cowboys & Angels Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2003

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