Picks and Pans Review: Pure Country
George Strait, Isabel Glasser, Lesley Ann Warren
If it were any cornier or mushier, it would be chowder, but this vehicle for country singer Strait generates a charming sweetness, the music is lively, and both Strait and Glasser are ingratiating new faces.
The script by Rex McGee doesn't seem very knowing. Strait is a hotshot country star who quits in the middle of a tour, disillusioned by the commercial aspects of his huge success. (His bank account is never revealed, but that aspect of stardom presumably doesn't irk him.) He takes refuge on a Texas rodeo family's ranch, where he rides horses (well, too) and starts courting Glasser—in genteel, old-fashioned cowboy fashion.
As Strait gears up for his comeback, he sings tunes by such composers as Eric Kaz, Mel Tillis and J.D. Souther. While Glasser doesn't sing, she hangs around prettily and makes her erratic romance with Strait appealing.
Warren, characteristically actressy, plays Strait's manager. Kyle Chandler is funny as a roadie who aspires to write hit songs and sleep with Warren. The movie's best casting is old cowboy star Rory Calhoun, who plays Glasser's father. He looks alarmingly thin but can still muster up the swagger of a hero.
The romance is the point, though, leading up to a crisis at Strait's big comeback concert.
It's just as well Glasser and Strait make such an attractive couple, because this is a cowboy movie where the good guy, when he finally confronts his main foe, doesn't sock the villain or call him out for a gunfight; he threatens to sue him.
Somewhere, John Wayne must be curling his lip.(PG)
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