By Eric Campos | February 10, 2006

You ever watch that hunting channel on cable?

Wait. Lemme re-word that.

You ever stumble upon that hunting channel on cable and curse the human race? Yeah, me too. Not that I’m a militant vegan or anything, it’s just that sometimes I get really disappointed in my “fellow man”. That same disappointment reared its ugly head again during the first several opening moments of this documentary. “Cowboy Del Amor” focuses on a cowboy, Ivan Thompson, who supports himself by hooking up American men with Mexican women who are willing to be their wives. He takes these men down to Mexico where they screen and hold interviews with various women looking to make the American connection. Our first American male subject says that he’s using Ivan’s service because American women ask for too much…

Yeah, so basically this documentary was going to be about a bunch of guys who can’t handle treating women properly and are looking for more of a slave than a partner.

Well, that was my first impression anyway.

Fortunately, the focus of the documentary quickly shifts to Ivan, the cowboy, who proves to have quite a bit of charm as he shows us the ins and outs of his trade, relaying ground rules and personal philosophies. He even takes us behind the scenes of his own love life – a failed marriage to a Mexican woman, who became too Americanized and “turned the tables” on him once she was in the States for a while. Okay, so he was charming up until the point when he makes that statement.

The film also shows us what’s going on in the lives of these Mexican women. Some of them have professional careers whose long-term goal is to be a U.S. citizen, but then there are some who are looking to escape a life of misery and impulsively answer the cowboy’s ad in a local paper. We hear different stories and thoughts from a few of these women, one of which believes that American men treat their women better than Mexican men, and we also follow the packing and moving out process of one wife-to-be as she leaves her family to live with our first American male subject I spoke of earlier. Their eventual reunion is awkward at best. Is this really a good thing?

“Cowboy Del Amor” is a well-done, oft-times entertaining documentary as it presents this unique brand of matchmaking that may or may not be the ideal situation for both parties. You be the judge.

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