What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

Classic Movies My Wife Hates – Episode 3: “Urban Cowboy”

  • Today’s Movie:  Urban Cowboy
  • Year of Release: 1980
  • Stars: John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn
  • Director: James Bridges

This movie is not on my list of essential films.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this piece are those of Mrs. J-Dub and do not necessarily reflect those of J-Dub, Dubsism, or anybody else to whom you might want to send hate mail.

The question is…do you agree?

Reason #1) “This is just ‘Saturday Night Fever’ with cowboy hats and belt buckles.”

Why She Says That:

Because she’s right.  Replace the country music with the disco-era Bee Gees. Make the pivotal point of the plot about riding a mechanical bull rather than dancing. Change the venue from 1977 Brooklyn to 1980 Houston.  Keep John Travolta and the cartoonish stereotypical characters; the “Brooklyn Vinnys” are as ripe as the “Houston Billy Joes,” and voilá…“Saturday Night Fever” becomes “Urban Cowboy.”

Once she said that, I kept waiting for Debra Winger to get gang-raped in the back seat of a Cadillac.  That never happens; I have to settle for watching her get punched around by her husband and a sleazy ex-con.

Reason #2) “John Travolta is a pouty bitch.”

Why She Says That:

The scene after he almost falls to his death when he’s soaking in the bathtub.  He greets his wife with “Oh, nuthin’…’cept I almost got killed. Where the hell have you been?”  Just so were clear, this is 1980, cell phones didn’t exist yet.  Moreover, neither of these dim-bulbs have the IQ points to pull off the Vulcan mind-meld, so how the fuck was she supposed to know he almost ate pavement at 150 miles per hour?

Hey dickhead, maybe climbing a 300-foot refinery tower with a hangover that would kill a water buffalo isn’t such a great idea. He’s a pouty bitch, pure and simple.

Reason #3) “How many more times is he going to hit Debra Winger?”

Why She Says That:

This one is pretty obvious; just go back to Reason #1.  But to be fair, she does gravitate to guys who like giving her an exquisite collection of knuckle marks.  That’s why there’s more than one “he” in that question.

Reason #4) The “Type-Casting” of James Gammon

Why She Says That:

This is a problem because Gammon also plays manager Lou Brown from “Major League.”  This is one of my wife’s characters because Brown sounds just like San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and Mrs. J-Dub loves Bochy because she says he reminds her of me; a crabby old man with a voice like a chain-smoking grizzly bear and a hat size that starts with an “8.”  The problem in “Urban Cowboy” is Gammon’s character is the guy who brings us Scott Glenn’s sleazy ex-con asshole antagonist “Wes Hightower.”

Reason #5) “Did they forget they are married?”

Why She Says That: The scene where they are both dancing to Mickey Gilley’s soulful steel guitar rendition of “Stand By Me” with their respective cheat-partners s priceless.  John Travolta admits he’s only going home with his to make his wife jealous; more of Travolta’s “pouty bitch” thing in action.

But let’s talk about the respective cheat-partners for a moment.  Travolta wins the “fucks his first” race, but Debra Winger wins the “most attractive extra-marital genitalia” contest.  Scott Glenn’s character may be a sleazy, woman-punching felon, but he’s got abs you could grate cheese on. Travolta’s picks a faux-cowgirl who has an oil billionaire daddy, but if it weren’t for her shapely, designer-jean clad backside, you would swear “she” has the face of a pre-op transsexual.

Then we need to discuss what constitutes an “official” marriage in a trailer park.  I know they have the real “dress and preacher” wedding, but all the extra-curricular activities start after Travolta  removes the license plate with his wife’s name on it from the rear window of his pick-up truck and tosses it into his glove box.  Does that constitute an “official” trailer-park divorce?  If so, then my take here significantly changes.

That question notwithstanding, the ending where Travolta beats the bejeezus out of Scott Glenn only muddies the marital waters; it really screams something really disjointed.  The message conveyed by that scene is “Go ahead and fuck my wife just don’t punch her…only I get to punch her.”

Reason #6) “The scene where John Travolta cuts off his cast.”

Why She Says That: 

This is all about Mrs. J-Dub hating a story from my youth when I did exactly the same thing. Much like Travolta, I was told there was a particular activity in which my participation would not be allowed as long as I had cast on my forearm.  Since I had a hacksaw and didn’t have the $50 for a doctor office co-pay at the time, the conclusion is only logical.

Reason #7) “They kill off the only character in this movie who isn’t an asshole.”

Why She Says That: 

Think about it.  Of all the major characters is this movie, who is the only one who isn’t a complete shit-bag? Travolta’s “Uncle Bob” (played by Barry Corbin) is by all respects is a damn good guy.  He’s got a good job, he’s a good family man, he gets Travolta’s “Bud” a job, and even teaches him how to ride that goddamn bull.  What’s his reward for that? He gets more over-cooked than a supermarket steak at your family cook-out when they let the drunkest uncle handle the grill.

Reason #8) “The shitty music.”

Why She Says That:

Where we live, there’s a radio station which every Saturday morning replays those Casey Kasem “American Top 40” shows from the 1980s.  These will invariably find their way on to our radio over morning coffee or in the car while we our running errands, because they represent largely harmless nostalgia from the days when Mrs. J-Dub and I were kids. That “harmless” things goes right out the window if the year being featured happens to be 1980.  That’s the year the soundtrack from this movie took over the world leading the “country invasion” into the pop charts, punctuated by this earworm.

Although to be honest, I was always partial to the Eddie Murphy “Buckwheat” version.

Reason #9) “The stupid ending.”

Without the dreaded spoiler should you want to torture yourself for two-and-a-half hours with this flick, if you haven’t required emergency treatment from an ophthalmologist because you’ve strained your eyeballs from rolling them every 45 seconds, Travolta’s closing line will get you there.  Granted, you don’t the sense of how completely corn-ball it is taken out of context, but once you see it, all will become clear.

“No way. We’re a-goin’ home.”

It’s pretty hard not to put that line right up there with “We’ll always have Paris.” But if nothing else Travolta replaces the license plate with her name on it back in the window of his truck, thus making them “trailer-park official” before they drive off into the night, presumably so he can impregnate her in their manufactured housing so she can at least be knocked-up before he knocks her around again.

Now, they will always have Paris…Texas.


The Gene Rayburn Memorial “Movies My Wife Hates” Poll

gene rayburn

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About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

6 comments on “Classic Movies My Wife Hates – Episode 3: “Urban Cowboy”

  1. SportsChump
    October 19, 2018

    I’ll agree with her on this one.

    While she and I still aren’t talking after that whole Raging Bull fiasco, I can agree with her that Urban Cowboy is unwatchable…. and not just for Travolta’s bad accent.


    • J-Dub
      October 19, 2018

      I didn’t realize you and my wife were ever on speaking terms. And since you mentioned”Raging Bull,” I’m obligated to ask the question…


  2. Silver Screenings
    October 25, 2018

    I’ve never seen “Urban Cowboy”, but I applaud your wife’s reasons for disliking it.



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This entry was posted on October 18, 2018 by in Humor, Movies, Sports and tagged , , , , .

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