Friday, February 03, 2006


Ah, the gay cowboys.

I loved it. It got off to kind of a slow start, and some of the scenes underlining the growing attraction between lovely Heath and lovely Jake were slightly clumsy. In fact a couple of times I half-expected a big comedy sign with arrows and flashing lights and the words “GAYS HERE!! LOOK!! GAYS!!” to glide across the screen like the mother ship in a game of Space Invaders. Lots of manly wrestling, that sort of thing. Once the initial shagging scene* was out of the way, however, I was transfixed. I needed a wee when we got in there, and thought I’d just nip out during a slow bit. I must have a cast-iron bladder as I couldn’t tear myself away for a second, and sat glued to it for the full two hours plus.

The joy of the gay cowboy film is in the way that you forget you’re watching a film about gay cowboys – it’s just a love story, and one that is played out totally convincingly. A couple of things jarred a bit, namely a scene where I was almost convinced that a baby had had a prosthetic nose fitted to make it look more like Jake Gyllenhall, a weird thing that Heath Ledger kept doing with his mouth (I think he was trying to convey that he was a man who repressed his emotions, but it put me in mind of a dog’s bottom), and the succession of fright wigs employed to give a sense of time passing. By the end of it, Anne Hathaway looked like an extra at Dollywood and Heath Ledger was more David Soul than tortured soul.

All of this aside, it was simply beautiful. Gorgeously shot, sparsely directed and, in parts, unbearably moving. I am not ashamed to say that I cried like Michael Barrymore at a press conference. And not just because I really, really needed a wee.

Carry on.

* Do not, I repeat do not go and see this film with a parent or close relative. It will be like the time you watched the Amityville Horror with your mum when you were six** and James Brolin and that skinny woman did it and you had to leave the room.

** Just me then.


Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

You've asterisked the shagging scene statement but not explained why...I assume you meant to make some sleazy reference outside of the articulate and moving review ?

Pleased you enjoyed it and so glad I didn't come to see it with you. It really doesn't sound like my kind of film although I have been known to blub like Gazza in rehab at Good Will Hunting so what do I know...

03 February, 2006 12:01  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

Oh bollocks, you've now updated your post which makes me look a compelte change there then !!!!!!

03 February, 2006 12:02  
Blogger car01 chimed in with...

It worries me that you know more about dogs' bottoms than is strictly necessary for normal behaviour.

03 February, 2006 12:18  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

and what is wrong with David Soul? I loved him you know.

03 February, 2006 12:25  
Blogger Wyndham chimed in with...

Sod that, it's Chicken Little this weekend! Bring it on!

03 February, 2006 12:43  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

I think they could've gone further to demonstrate the passing of time with Jake Gyllenhall - such as giving him a wrapover hairdo, a paunch, stuffed cotton wool in his cheeks, masses of ginger nostril hair, sideburns ...

I know this isn't very nice, but Chicken Little looks as if he could do with a good kicking.

03 February, 2006 13:03  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

good review sg. glad you got out for a bit :-)

03 February, 2006 17:20  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

Aah. thanks for the warning. I won't go and see it with any of the children. They find it distressing to have a parent around during shagging scenes.
Times I've been banished from my own sitting room!

03 February, 2006 17:51  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Never watch anything over a PG with your parents.

My mother and I rented dull Ewan McGregor vanity piece 'Norah' cos it starred local sleb Susan Lynch.

Sitting beside my mum, watching someone I remember from school enthusiastically frigging herself off is by FAR the most cringeworthy moment of my life.

03 February, 2006 18:26  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

So going to see it this weekend.

03 February, 2006 18:35  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

Yay, gay cowboys! My bloke resolutely refuses to watch it - so we're going to the cinema and Im going to watch gay cowboys and he's going to watch Munich (sounds worthy and depressing). I think I know who will have the better time...

03 February, 2006 22:55  
Anonymous kristy chimed in with...

Very well put. More David Soul than tourtured soul--exactly. And some of that Marlborrow Man mumbling toward the end got a bit thick, but overall, yes, two thumbs up.

04 February, 2006 19:08  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

yes, but did anyone grow a beard or see an increase in any facial hair at all as a result of seeing this movie-or having planned to see this movie? when your my age, thats the type of thing you need to know. 'cos i'm all for the boy-kiddie-boy thang. but if theres gonna be, like, more chin whiskers, then forget it.

05 February, 2006 23:03  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

oops, that was supposed to be
BOY - KISSIE - BOY. i am bad.

05 February, 2006 23:04  
Blogger frobisher chimed in with...

Hmm . . . not sure it was a love story. The Ennis character (Heath) was an absolute pig to everyone (wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, kids). I could barely make out a word he said. Agreed, beautifully shot but the sex a bit crap, a dry hump in a tent?

06 February, 2006 12:21  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

I have to say that this problem with shagging scenes is a lot broader than just watching with parents. Anyone who has gone out on a date with someone new has to have felt the toe-curling tension rise between the seats (no filth please) as the shagging unfolds and perhaps becomes -- horrors! -- explicit. You resist clearing your horribly constricted throat or shifting uneasily in your seat, which makes it worse as you both silently quiver with repression.

The other thing is that like vomit scenes, explicit sex scenes just are bloody uncomfortable to watch. You wouldn't want to sit around watching that in your front room, would you (unless you are a practising voyeur)? So you do indeed have to just "get over" them. In that case, what are they FOR? Everyone knows how awful sex scenes in most novels are; everyone knows why they are there but no one really wants to read them. Same with films. I could go into the question of certain directors who insist on lurid legovers for jollies or to enjoy exercising their power, but I have been greedy with your space already.

07 February, 2006 10:50  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

unless it's porn, dave f. everyone likes a bit of porn.


07 February, 2006 13:27  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

Exactly my point. They're pretending it's not the same thing. But it is. I wouldn't go to a porn flick on a first date either. Or subsequent ones, come to that.

What sort of porn did you have in mind? The industrial strength, or the classy soft stuff?

07 February, 2006 15:13  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

I'm not going to see this, so can you tell me does Jake play Heath's bitch? Suppose it's obvious, but you never know.

07 February, 2006 15:18  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

oh dave, how wrong you are. jake does the driving, if you know what i mean.

08 February, 2006 10:18  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

That's unfeasible. Is there no respect left for stereotypes?

09 February, 2006 11:06  

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