I finally saw it last night. It was on HBO. I didn't seek it out, but once it started I thought I'd hang with it a while to see where it went. I ended up staying up way too late to finish it.
My impression...it was depressing. Not in the "why won't society let us love who we want" way that I was expecting. It was depressing because the characters had to make hard choices in their lives and those choices shut doors to other more desirable options. It was real life.
When the movie first came out I rejected the notion of running out to see it purely on the hype. It was overkill. While the movie itself doesn't bash you over the head with agenda driven propaganda, the advocates of the film sure did. I naturally reject such ridiculous hype.
The movie was cinematically beautiful, as promised. The main characters were most certainly eye candy, and the acting was superb. The actors presented some very subtle and rich performances. Cowboys in love is about what you'd expect, something completely antithetical to the fabulousness of the Queer Eye crowd.
I came away from the film with many questions, foremost of which was "What the hell did he say?" Ennis was hard to understand most of the time; he seemed to swallow most of his words. But when the final line of the movie is incomprehensible, that's just not fair! The other question is the one most people came away with...did Jack die accidentally or was he murdered.
Thankfully, in the internet age I am able to head straight to the computer with my questions. There are forums out there that have rehashed and reexamined every bit of minutiae from the film. I was able to figure out many lines I couldn't understand. The big question is up to interpretation, left intentionally vague by the director. Apparently in the book it's more clear cut...the murder was a product of Ennis's imagination and internalized fears. Many people repudiate that interpretation and insist Jack was gay-bashed. I came to the conclusion that a person's interpretation of that question is a litmus test of their personality. I think Jack died as his wife said, an accident. If you're a conspiracy theorist and prone to see slights against homosexuals around every corner, then you probably think he was murdered.
Anyhow, the "gay parts" didn't squick me. Two hot guys kissing is not a turn off for me. Now maybe if it were Ernest Borgnine and Danny DeVito. Ugh, I think I may puke...