Monday, July 31, 2006

Cowboy del Amor (2006)

Documentary about "Cowboy Cupid" Ivan Thompson, who takes lonely American men across the Mexican border and sets them up with Mexican women, with marriage as the goal. A lacerating documentary about this business being indicative of how modern globalization turns even people and love into a commodity could be made; this, though, is not the intent of director Michele Ohayon. She's not a hatcher-jobber -- while I sense that she doesn't generally agree with Ivan's choice of vocation, she nevertheless presents him as a likable, engaging man who only wants the best for his clients. There's a sense of hope in the arrangements we're shown, as though everyone benefits from Ivan's business -- the men get to meet nice women who are "different" (read: more subservient) than American women, the women get to come to America; Ohayon, though, is canny enough to include footage of Ivan and his ex-wife as proof that not all of his arrangements are surefire. Overall, this is an entertaining watch, with Ivan holding his own as an irascible stranger-than-fiction type; the film's structured a bit too obviously towards a Hollywood-type happy ending/validation, but since the ending isn't all sweetness and light (for every beginning, there's an ending), I'll let it slide.

Grade: B


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