The movie has flaws (an over-padded runtime, a Scott Glenn character that represents the worst extreme of the problematic gender politics, and a needlessly jacked-up bit of cross-cutting between Travolta’s near-fatal accident on a scaffold and Winger’s inaugural bull-riding session), but by the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve spent a long, definitive weekend at Gilley’s right next to these people.
The richness of the characterizations coupled with the crowd-pleasing aspects reminded me of O. Russell's The Fighter, one of the modern films I admire the most. And Debra Winger is really amazing in this. The increasing villainy of Scott Glenn may seem out of place in the otherwise realistic environment, but by the end, you're so emotionally invested in the characters, the melodrama further heightens your response.
For what it is, I suppose 'Urban Cowboy' is a relatively decent film. Plot wise, it's ultimately nothing more than a pissing contest between John Travolta's character, Bud, and his soon to be ex-wife Sissy's new boyfriend. Everything moves along incredibly fast in the first half hour, following Bud's journey into Houston, finding work, getting married, buying a home...and the next hour and a half is a drawn out...↓