Cowboys & Angels (2003)
A young man who moves away from his hometown finds a variety of new ideas and dangerous temptations awaiting him in this comedy from first-time director David Gleeson. Shane (Michael Legge) is a man in his early twenties who leaves the small Irish town of his birth and gets a job in the comparatively big city of Limerick. However, he soon discovers that his new position bores him to distraction. Shane also has to get an apartment, and finds himself looking for flats with Vincent (Allen Leech), a stylishly gay college student studying a course in fashion design. While Shane isn't gay, he ends up sharing an apartment with Vincent, and finds himself admiring his confidence and sense of style, not to mention his close friendship with Gemma (Amy Shiels), a beautiful girl who works at a nearby diner. One day, Shane happens upon a cache of drugs, which belong to Keith (David Murray), a neighbor involved in the local heroin trade. Keith discovers that Shane has his dope and soon bullies him into joining his gang, running money and drugs between Limerick and Dublin. Shane is more than reluctant, but knows that working as Keith's mule will pay better than his old job and allow him to follow in Vincent's footsteps and attend art school. Cowboys & Angels was screened in competition at the 2004 Los Angeles Outfest, a festival of gay- and lesbian-themed films. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
as Richard Walsh
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Critic Reviews for Cowboys & Angels
Keeps us involved even after the plot takes some badly contrived turns. Strong characters and performances make it almost watchable.
It's a sweet but slight film whose undeniable appeal is largely due to the performances of its flat-out adorable leads.
In 2004 there is no excuse for a gay-themed film to be a translucent closet with a cute, revolving door.
A feel-good coming-of-age movie that floats on a boatload of Irish charm.
(an) often charming and more often familiar Irish coming-of-age tale.
A likable if ordinary Irish indie that barely squeaks by on the charms of its leads.
Enlivens the classic premise of innocent-in- the-city by moving its archetypal characters in unexpected directions.
Stack Cowboys against most of the fare American studios offer young adults and it's meatier by far.
All over the map, but since it's Irish, it still manages to be a little charming.
There are no truly great lessons imparted in Cowboys and Angels, but its charm, sociability and highly watchable performances make it a smooth, friendly cinematic pint.
Manages to be enjoyable despite its contrivances.
Gleeson has written and directed the picture with deep affection and impressively cinematic skill.
If this sounds like one big cliche, that's because it is.
The coming-of-age story about the corruptions of the big city has been done a few thousand times, but at least this one offers a fresh mix of open-minded intelligence and a heartfelt point of view.
For all the violence and breaking-up- to-make-up that go on, there's never really a sense of risk or exploration, and the film's pulse never rises above faint.
In general, a film in which the protagonist exalts his friend on a city sidewalk, raising his arms to the sky and proclaiming, 'You've worked your magic on me, and I'll never be the same again!' should not be seen by anyone.
Audience Reviews for Cowboys & Angels
Even though the characters are young and still discovering themselves, this movie is full of promise and a mature reminder that the only way out is through, and the only satisfaction is in being true to yourself. I loved the acting, the sincerity and believabiity of the relationship between a gay man and his straight roommate.More
A pretty standard film with its heart in the right place, Cowboys & Angels tells the story of two Irish flatmates - Shane, a straight 20 year-old who is unhappy with his career and his directionless life, and Vincent, a gay 23 year-old whose life is pretty much solid, pursuing his career ambitions in the fashion industry and exploring possible romances. The two were former pupils at the same school and end up sharing a flat through coincidence, and become friends. When Shane, trying to overcome his shyness, discovers a stash of drugs in the corridor of the building he shares with other people, it begins in motion an unlikely involvement in drug running; seemingly this is more interesting and certainly more financially rewarding than his dead-end career, but soon his life is spiralling out of control. Cowboys & Angels is really rather generic for its first hour, even with the introduction of the drugs storyline and an unrequited infatuation that Shane has for Gemma (who in a contrived coincidence turns out to be Vincent's best friend). The character of Vincent, the flamboyant gay guy with an interest in fashion and a bathroom cabinet crammed with hair-care product, is a walking stereotype, and most of the other characters are steeped in cliché. It doesn't help that Allen Leech, as Vincent, overplays everything whilst Michael Legge, as Shane, mumbles his way through most of his lines. At the one hour mark though, the stereotypes are reversed in a brilliant sequence which starts with a drugged up Shane in a club making a prat of himself and ends with him back in the apartment with the dealer he's doing the running for, whilst in another room Gemma tries to seduce Vincent. It's one of the few truly effective moments that actually make sitting through the film worthwhile, before it finishes predictably in sentimentality.More
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