Although many folks laught this flick off, I have to admit that I am extremely fond of "Urban Cowboy." My wife and I watch it just about every time it comes on television. Granted, Bud slaps around Sissy and that may turn off some folks, but deep inside, there is more love between those characters than most of the couples in film and television these days.
With a giant honky-tonk as the primary setting, you get the expected rowdy crowds and rambunctious country music needed to set the stage. The entire story revolves around the trials and tribulations of a young couple brought together by the bull...mechanical bull that is, and how they're almost torn apart by it. They get "Bud" and "Sissy" license plates for Bud's truck. They are ecstatic over a new trailer house. They are pure white trash, and I love'em for it. Colorful characters such as Bud's aunt and uncle, Gator, the ex-con Wes, Jessie, Mickey Gilley and even the Charlie Daniel's Band make for a great movie. You couldn't make a film about a honky-tonk these days with characters like that. First of all, you'd anger someone for making the working man look like an idiot. Secondly, people will scream about spousal abuse. Lastly, there aren't many real country stars like they had back in those days. Can you imagine Tim McGraw onstage with back hair coming out of his vest instead of the incomparable Johnny Lee? I think not.
Others say the acting is bad, that may be, but it is so bad that it is wonderful to see on screen. Travolta's bathtub scene where he fusses at Sissy(Debra Winger) for not being home when he needs her is just hilarious. Winger is at her sexiest as the somewhat tomboyish Sissy. She's probably the main reason I watch this movie over and over. When Bud's aunt enters the Dolly Parton lookalike contest, her entire character becomes the focus of the film for a few brief, funny moments. Barry Corbin was perfectly cast as Bud's well-meaning uncle. You couldn't have picked a better cast.
Also, the characters are real. Admit it, you've seen a drunk guy at the local bar fall off of his barstool. In this movie, Gator just happens to fall off of a mechanical bull. There are always one or two fights at the bar. Also, I've seen plenty of angry drunks at the local Pitt Grill(an after-honky-tonk hangout with a great breakfast buffett at 3AM) throw fits like Bud did when Sissy gets a hat tipped to her by Wes.
Watch this movie for the time trip it is. It's a perfect rainy-day, holdin' you're better half type of movie. Add it to your collection now.