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I really did not like this movie. I admit, I wasn’t looking forward to it particularly but when it started, for a few minutes, I thought I was wrong about what this was going to be like. So we have young and scruffy-looking John Travolta coming down for breakfast while being far too tall for the stairway in his house and I was like, wow, this is going to be all neo-neo-realistic and shit. Awesome. Plus, I think he wears that beard well, no?

And we have this whole family sending him off to the big city and I was all ready with my box of Kleenex to watch what I thought would be this amazing saga of a sweet boy from a small town being corrupted by them horrible city-dwellers. It was all going according to plan. On his very first night in Houston, Bud’s aunt and uncle take him to Gilley’s and you all know what city girls are like….

Soon, bearded Bud here adapts to his new environment (aka shaves off his beard and trades in his straw hat for a Stetson) and become the Marlborough Man (at this point, we are about 10 minutes into the movie).

Another 5 minutes and he’s danced, fallen in love and married to Sissy (Debra Winger). They do seem like a perfect couple too.

Sissy: “I’m so proud of you, Bud. You looked so great up on that bull. You were the best one all night long.”

Bud: “Well, I might’ve been the best one all night long, but my balls are killin’ me. (pauses) Shit.”

Awww, look at those matching shirts and the ‘Bud’ and ‘Sissy’ license plates in the rear window of his pickup.

So they live happily for what seems like about a week (2 minutes in movie time) till stubborn Sissy’s insistence on riding the mechanical bull over at Gilley’s hurts Bud’s fragile masculine ego and in an incomprehensible plot twist, we have Bud hanging precariously from the scaffold over at work and watching his entire life flash in front of his eyes while Sissy magically masters the mechanical bull in about 20 minutes. WTF? I mean, I understand that I am not sposed to taking this movie very seriously, but this felt particularly superfluous.

Anyway, so soon we have Sissy shacking up with an ex-convict and Bud wearing shirts made for him by poor-little-rich-girl Pam and we have lots and lots and lots of scenes of people riding mechanical bulls which all culminates in a big mechanical bull showdown between ex-convict and Bud with what is apparently, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” playing in the background and miraculously these two people who’ve done nothing but fight throughout the movie realize that they are madly in love with each other after all and walk into the Texas sunset holding hands.

I think I might have loved this in a “guilty pleasure” sort of way if I felt bad for Sissy at least but unfortunately, her bullish determination (pun unintended) to do stupid things just put me off. And what’s with all the men treating the women like crap all the time?

Finally, the whole movie is full of like songs by the Eagles and Bonnie Raitt and so on (I don’t think there’s a single scene in the movie that’s not accomanied by a song) and it’s really not my kind of music and even while trying to keep an open mind, the loud soundtrack just bugged me.

I don’t really see why this works for you, saltine. Is it a good portrayal of the place? FWIW, I thought the movie was probably exaggerating the accents and I definitely thought it was stereotyping the people who live there (everyone spends their evenings at Gilleys watching Dolly Parton lookalike contests and drinking beer).

I’m really sorry but I did try Undecided.

Grade: F

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