TNU: Cowboy del Amor

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Remezcla readers love to take in culture, but don’t always have the cash for tickets. That’s where we come in. A Theater Near You is Remezcla’s guide to awesome Latin movies for the lazy and broke; you can watch these all at home (because sabemos que son flojos).


Twitter: @infoCinelandia

The Movie

Cowboy del Amor
Director: Michèle Ohayon
Country: USA | 2005 | 86 minutes
Language: English

Ivan Thompson is a regular old cowboy. He always wears tight blue jeans, a cowboy hat, and boots. He lives alone on a ranch and breeds horses. And, of course, he speaks in a nasal Texas twang. But, there’s one thing that makes him a little different. Also known as the cowboy cupid, Ivan runs a matchmaking business for lonely gringos looking to find a “mucho bonita” Mexican wife. I know what you are thinking, “These guys just want a docile Mexicanita to make them tamales and tacos and wash their clothes and never talk back.” And, yeah, that is pretty much true. But they are also really lonely guys looking for love.

Academy Award-nominated director, Michèle Ohayon, found Ivan, the self-proclaimed foremost expert in matching American men with Mexican women, while listening to a story on NPR. She knew he would make an incredible documentary subject. After several phone conversations and finally gaining his trust, the cowboy cupid allowed her to film his trips to Mexico where he takes his clients to look for a wife. The resulting film, Cowboy del Amor, is a cute, hilarious and semi-enfuriating documentary.

How does a cowboy get into the matchmaking/mail order bride business? Well, at first he was looking for a wife for himself. After divorcing his American wife of seventeen years and not having much luck finding a replacement, he decided to try an unconventional approach. He tells the story like this, “I was kinda lonely and tired a lookin’, of tryin’ to meet American woman so I run an ad in a Mexico newspaper. I got back about 80 responses, some really pretty gals. They was lawyers, doctors, secretaries, school teachers and dressed nice and, boy, I said to myself, self this will make a good business.” And so began Ivan’s career in the “woman business.”

Cowboy del Amor takes you on a trip through Mexico in search of love (and a live-in maid) alongside some of Ivan’s paying clients. Rick, a balding truck driver, seems earnest in wanting to find a soul mate. James, a pudgy used car salesman, doesn’t appear as selective, any Mexi-wife will do. Ivan takes them across the border and quickly jumps into action. He books them a hotel room, places a classified ad that reads: “Hombre Americano Buscando Esposa” and they sit back and wait for the calls. Ivan gives them advice: “when they call ask their height and weight” and “don’t talk about your ex-wife.” Sometimes you root for them and get excited when they hit it off with a potential esposa. Then, other times, you want to yell at them and call them sexist, racist assholes. It’s an emotional roller coaster! But, Ivan’s twangy ignorance and self-deprecating humor is sort of endearing. You can’t help but laugh at his ridiculous statements. Yeah, he’s a chauvinist pig but he’s just so gosh darn lovable. Whether you end up loving him or hating him (or both) you’ll definitely be entertained by El Cowboy del Amor.

Where You Can Watch It Now

Netflix (streaming and DVD) and Amazon (download or digital rental).