A clean movie with a sweet premise is something of a rarity. When one does come along, it only makes sense that viewers who prefer this may want to check it out. Not a Christian movie in the traditional sense, Cowgirls ‘n’ Angels has some sweet virtues.
Cowgirls ‘n Angels (2012) Film Review
The only difference between cowgirls and angels is that angels don’t ride as well. That is the story young Ida Clayton (Bailee Madison) tells us. Quite the little rebel, most days, she’s on her own, mostly as a result of being raised by a single mother (Alicia Witt) who is too busy working to pay any mind to her daughter’s activities. When not in school, Ida sneaks around her small home town, and finds it amusing to rifle through the belongings of rodeo spectators. Eventually she begins to sneak onto the fairgrounds where she tries to teach herself to ride a horse. When Ida is caught by former rodeo royalty, Terrence Parker (James Cromwell), she receives an offer to tour with the Sweethearts of the rodeo on two conditions: She can’t lie anymore and must have her mother’s permission.
Elaine is tired of her daughter’s pestering questions about her father and Ida knows that if she could just find him, they would enjoy a typical father-daughter relationship. Given Elaine’s hatred towards the rodeo, Ida knows that obtaining her permission is next to impossible, so she does what she has to; she lies.
FILM REVIEW |‘COWGIRLS ‘N ANGELS’ (2012) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Sometimes films like this are subpar because they don’t have much of a budget or there is no talent to speak of. For this sweetheart of a movie, both accounts seem generally absent. I thought the premise was touching even if it does sometimes overreach. Likewise the acting is equally superior with the always adorable Bailee Madison leading the way. Her spunky Ida is one of the funniest parts of the film and she carries a great deal of it. She’s joined also by Kathleen Rose Perkins, Madison Burge and Jackson Rathbone. I like how easy it is to enjoy each of the girl’s stories who make up the Sweetheart team. In this, the story is a kind of redemption scenario that resonates with its viewer.
If there is one thing that does disappoint, it’s the mother-daughter relationship. I can deal with tension between parents and their child(ren) but I think Ida’s hateful comments toward her mother crosses a line. Here, things do work out but it didn’t seem realistic given Ida’s supposed “hatred” and her mother’s lack of parenting.
Everything else is lovely in this darling flick even with the big bow conclusion. It’s just, as my father would comment, a shame that young people cannot appreciate a story like this. (It has good lessons.) Horse lovers will enjoy the trick riding, and those of us anxious for a story of forgiveness and Christian principles will delight in the heartfelt themes. It may not be the most original film but there’s spunk.
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Content: there is some back-talking and disrespect from Ida towards her mother. There may be a minor swear word or two. Conversation reveals that a man never knew he was a father but whether it was the result of a failed marriage or a brief
relationship [the latter seems a better guess] is not made clear. While training there are a couple of minor injuries and one girl was supposedly an alcoholic prior to changing. The film is PG.