Cowboy Del Amor review by Jettie Vanderveen

One should not make a scene about watching Cowboy Del Amor because it’s really not that wonderful of a film worth making a scene about. It is a non-thrilling, time-killing, space-filling documentary that leaves the viewer no better, no worse, and an hour and a half older.

Michele Ohayon tries to offer unto the world a wonderful non-fiction piece about an old cowboy matchmaker who hitches American men with Mexican women. Instead, Ohayon spews forth this remarkably drab flick. And please understand, I use “flick” for “film” as I use “bitch” for “woman.”

“I was married to an American woman seventeen and a half years; she spoke perfect English and I never could understand her.” These are the opening lines spoken by the “Cowboy Cupid” himself, Ivan Thompson. Part-time cowboy, full-time matchmaker, Ivan is so used to looking for women, he can’t seem to keep one.

Cowboy Del Amor is a documentary following Ivan through the process he uses to “hitch up” lonely American men with unhappy Mexican women. It starts with taking a gringo down to Mexico and placing an ad in a local paper, then interviewing Mexican women until he finds one he likes. Simple as that.

Rick is the youngest of the fellows, in his late 30's or early 40's. He pays Ivan $3,000 to take him down to Torreon, Mexico to find a wife. After a few days of interviews, the hard work pays off and Rick meets Francis, a lovely Mexican woman who fits his ideal physical requirements: short and slender. They go on a few dates and end up falling for each other.

Lee is an older gentleman, entering his late 70's. The reason he wants to get married so late in his life? He doesn’t want to die in his sleep and stay there for days without anybody knowing. He has no family, and wants someone to be there for him in these fading days. Irmalinda is a good woman, who just can’t seem to find a good husband who appreciates her. She, like the other women, says that in America, women are treated equal unlike in Mexico, where the men use the women to their own advantage.

During the middle of the film, the pace drops from slow to a deadening crawl. The gringos’ stories are put on hold while Ivan’s story is elaborated a bit. Ivan talks about his ex-wife, Chayo, and how they met, married and divorced. Whether a conscious effort or not, the filmmaker decides to deviate from the somewhat interesting part of the movie to learn about why Ivan does what he does. The viewer doesn’t really care, but Ivan’s tale goes on. Finally, the plot picks up again at the very end with two weddings.

Ultimately, due to financial problems, Ivan moves out of his little home in the states and take his business to Mexico. After this the film, like Ivan, just kind of fades away. Though he is a decent man, the viewer isn’t really disappointed to see him go with the closing credits.

With music that sounds like it’s taken straight from a Sergio Leone film, cinematography that is nothing specially worth noting, and characters that are likeable if not memorable, Michele Ohayon’s Cowboy Del Amor is frayed and incomplete, with an ending that leaves the viewer unfulfilled. Neither good nor bad, it is trapped in the proverbial “cinematic limbo.”

6 out of 10 Jackasses
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