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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.33%
Average: 4.76%
Pretty Bad: 4.76%
Total Crap: 4.76%

1 review, 15 user ratings

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Cowboy del Amor
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by Chris Parry

"Imagine Dale from King of the Hill became a matchmaker…"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL: Ivan Thompson calls himself the Cowboy Cupid. An aging New Mexican dude with a thriving business in hooking up lonely American men with desperate Mexican women, he puts a distinctly southern twist on the age old craft of matchmaking. This is his story.

There’s a lot of talk in America these days about the ‘sanctity of marriage’. Millions of voters turned out in the most recent election for no other reason than to try to outlaw gay marriage, reasoning that it lessened the institution and would eventually lead to the weakening of the family unit. That always seemed a little weird to me, when the average American marriage lasts about six years, and when you can get both a marriage and a divorce in Vegas, on the same day, for less than $90 total.

Ivan Thompson is doing his part for the gay movement, as well as for the marriage-minded crowd, by serving as a middle man for lonely Americans and the women who profess to love them. The deal isn’t cheap – Ivan’s talents cost $3000 at a time – and success isn’t assured, though Ivan boasts that he can always find someone to fulfill his end of the bargain. But the success of the arrangement seems to depend less on true love and more on the woman being skinny, attractive, and content to be regularly intimate with an older American male of questionable virtue.

As a documentary, Thompson makes great fodder. He’s just this side of nutso, has plenty of great sayings like “he rode her pretty hard and put her up wet,” and his matchmaking tactics and ideological motivations are most assuredly questionable. And certainly Casablanca-born and Israel-raised Oscar-nominated documentarian Michele Oyayo (Colors Straight Up) knows how to get the most out of her subject. But what makes Cowboy Del Amor truly a step above most of its genre is the surprising turn of events that leaves the matchmaker and match-made switching places, as their lives take ironic swings that Oyayo could only have hoped for when her project began.

Shot with style and prowess, with a story that perfectly treads the fine line between portraying a situation objectively and taking a side on the issue, Cowboy Del Amor is not a tragic tale, though it does feature much sadness, and it’s not a love story, though love is never far from the surface. I guess what it all comes down to is that the sanctity of marriage and the boundaries of love are pretty much impossible to quantify. If people are happy getting hitched, then shouldn’t we all turn up to throw rice?

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originally posted: 03/13/05 07:56:14
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Portland Film Festival For more in the 2006 Portland Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/20/09 mike ross wounderful wounderful 5 stars
10/08/08 damalc unpretentious, funny, subtle and enlightening 4 stars
4/10/06 robert seefus very entertaining and reflects real life 5 stars
4/06/05 An American Woman What a load of crap! What an ego! What a nut! 1 stars
4/06/05 Nancy G The most over-rated film of SXSW 2 stars
3/26/05 Richard Binder This docu is very moving and funny in the same time 5 stars
3/25/05 Merna Reynolds Funnier than horse poop in a punchbowl. Ivan split my sides with some classic idioms! 5 stars
3/25/05 Evan Gold Michele is brilliant and this Documentary is just great work. 5 stars
3/25/05 Linda Bard Kicked butt at SXSW! A jury AND audience award winner! 5 stars
3/25/05 Julian Tomas I laughed my head off! 5 stars
3/25/05 Todd Stern Incredibly funny and heartwarming 5 stars
3/25/05 Brad Spradlin Hilarious, real and well made. Excellent docutainment! 5 stars
3/25/05 Melodie Hall A funny and touching docu- Bravo! 5 stars
3/14/05 ann vasquez Wonderful, charming, funny and touching. 5 stars
3/14/05 pooper Interesting, but free of any real impact. 3 stars
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  10-Feb-2006 (NR)
  DVD: 29-Sep-2009



Directed by
  Michele Ohayon

Written by
  Michele Ohayon


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