"Cowboys and Angels," released in 2005, is a mild, pleasant little comedy-drama, a semi-autobiographical Irish coming of age tale if ever there was one. With a gay component. The film is set, unusually enough, in Limerick,-- yes, that Limerick-- a place we've seldom seen onscreen (save for the film Angela's Ashes
of Frank Mc Court's novel, Angela's Ashes
. And that film sure didn't make Limerick look like a pleasant place to be.) But the city looks much more presentable in COWBOYS AND ANGELS. The film stars Michael Legge, who played the teenaged Frank Mc Court in ANGELA'S ASHES, and may possibly, therefore, be Limerick's leading young actor, as Shane Butler, geeky suburban kid, dressed by Mom, come to town to work in a dull civil service job.
Interestingly enough, the film's written and directed by David Gleeson, who once worked in the exact same Department of Agriculture office, with some of the exact same people, as does his protaganist. At any rate, here we have young Shane fresh in the city, looking for affordable lodgings. He decides to room with Vincent Cusack (Allen Leech), a guy he knew in school, now attending the local art college, and a way out there gay wannabe fashion designer. Thence hangs the tale. Amy Shiels plays Gemma, Vincent's hot, close friend: Shane yearns in her direction, but he's too geeky for her to consider until taken in hand by Vincent. Frank Kelly turns in a touching performance as Jerry, an older worker in Shane's office, who doesn't realize until too late that it wasn't the best way to spend his time. There are some regrettable interludes where Shane gets into drug smuggling: but how else is he to pay, someone must have thought, for his new wardrobe, and his new directions in life?
As often happens in works about gays and straights, much more attention is paid to the love life problems of the straights, rather than the gays, but Vincent is respectfully treated. The film, by and large, covers familiar territory, but it did win five awards, and it's set in a part of the world we don't often see.