A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) Poster

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10/10
this is a great film
bacon6675 April 2005
This may be one of john travolta's finest acting roles. The critic reviews were lukewarm, and it seems the movie wasn't released in many theaters for people to see, which is a shame. This is a gem of a film. It takes place in new orleans and follows the lives of three unlikely roommates. Two drunken men living in a dilapidated house of a dead woman, and the woman's estranged only daughter who comes to claim her inheritance-a third of the house. With no place to go, the three stay together under the same roof and a friendship somehow grows, like grass through a sidewalk crack. Well acted, and well directed, there are times the pace of the film seems to slacken but it doesn't take away from the story being told. All in all, one of my favorite films no one saw this year.
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7/10
An enjoyable little character study
daveshubcaps-13 May 2005
If you like movies that are character driven, then this is one for you to watch.

I have never seen Scarlett Johanssen in anything before. I have to say she impressed me here with her performance as Pursalane Hominy Will (ain't that a mouthful of a name!). Travolta does a nice turn as the titular Bobby Long, a former English professor who has fallen into the depths of an alcohol induced fantasy life. Gabriel Macht also does a good job as Lawson Pines, Bobby Long's former teaching assistant who has accompanied Long into his descent out of a sense of loyalty and guilt.

Perhaps the most interesting character, to me, is the one you never see, Lorraine Will; a New Orleans diva and the mother of young Pursey. Lorraine's death from alcoholism is what brings our characters together, and much like Alex in The Big Chill, we never once see or hear from Lorraine (not even in voice-over when Pursey reads a letter never sent to her by Lorraine), but we experience her through the people in this movie. It is a brave choice for the director to make, as I believe others would opt for more direct exposition via flashback, voice-overs, etc.

In the end, while there is a certain formulaic approach to the story, the characters are done well enough that you enjoy the story anyway.
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10/10
Broken Hopes and Broken Lives: A Study of New Orleans
gradyharp20 April 2005
For those who have read Ronald Everett Capps' novel 'Off Magazine Street' and savor the slow, lugubrious, decadent pattern of life in the poor section of New Orleans, then Screenwriter/Director Shainee Gabel's transformation of those ideas into A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG will certainly satisfy. Though Gabel has manipulated characters names and identification to fit her sensitive interpretation of Capps' story into a visual manifestation, the changes are sound and serve to make this remarkably fine low budget film a humid, alcoholically lethargic slice of New Orleans as viable as, say, Tennessee Williams. There is a captured ambiance of the South complete with decay, shanties, intermittent rain, and aimless broken lives that sets a fine stage for a rather minimal story.

Purslane Hominy Will (Scarlett Johansson) is a young high school dropout living in trailer park trash in Florida with a low class boyfriend Lee (Clayne Crawford) when she learns of her mother Lorraine's death in New Orleans. Though she hasn't seen or heard from her obese, druggie, songwriter mother in years, she wants to attend her funeral and strikes out for New Orleans.

Arriving on the doorstep of her mother's rundown, rotting house, she discovers Bobby Long (John Travolta), an unkempt drunk who once was an English professor in a college in Alabama but fell into oblivion and alcohol when he lost his wife and family. He is living in filth with Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht) who, as Bobby's teaching assistant whom Bobby has deemed gifted, has followed Bobby to write Bobby's biography - a work in progress that has stalemated in favor of alcoholism and disillusionment. Pursey hears that Booby and Lawson were Lorraine's closest friends (she had invited them to flop in her shabby house, entertained by their low key scholasticism and literature quoting), and that Lorraine had willed her home to the three of them.

Pursey moves in reluctantly - she has nowhere else to go - and immediately is at odds with her 'roommates'. Likewise Bobby and Lawson resist Pursey's presence and insist she 'get a life' by returning to high school, making use of her obvious intellect. The verbal sparing that eventually leads the three to find a sense of family lays the foundation for the predictable conclusion.

That is the simplicity of the tale - if it is storyline that is important to you. Gabel's distillation of Capps' novel is in the atmosphere she creates with these gifted actors. Bobby may be a drunk but he is the spokesman for a neighborhood of sad broken lives. The world is confined to the street that contains the local bar, churches, and graveyards - each of varying importance but all drenched in humidity and frequent rains and alcohol and aimless living. The local bar is tended by Georgiana (Deborah Kara Unger) with whom Lawson is having a strained affair. The folk who gather at Bobby's literature-spouting soirees include gardener Cecil (Dane Rhodes), Junior (David Jensen), to mention only a few well-defined characters. That anyone could alter the ennui in the way Pursey changes things is a minor miracle.

The minimal music score by Grayson Capps is atmospheric as are the off-screen comments and quotations of great literature of TS Eliot, Robert Frost, WH Auden et al. The cinematography by Eliot Davis is properly claustrophobic and decadent in atmosphere. And while some feel the movie is too long for the minimal story, the length and pacing are in keeping with the traditions and the literature of the South and for this viewer it works exceedingly well.

Travolta, Johansson, Macht, and Unger give multifaceted, highly sensitive performances. As for Shainee Gabel (whose only other film was the controversial 'Anthem') here is a writer and director to watch. The DVD contains some excellent deleted scenes and one of the more informative 'making of' segments with Gabel, Travolta, Johansson, Macht, and Rhodes speaking with quiet eloquence. Highly recommended.
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8/10
Worth Your Time
marygreen2531 January 2005
Reviews for "A Love Song for Bobby Long" are falling in the range from terrible to fantastic. My vote is closer to the fantastic end. The movie gets off to a slow start, but starts to work about a quarter into the film. The story unfolds at a slow pace; fitting for its locale. The character development for the three main characters (Travolta, Johansson and Macht) is well-woven into the story. Each character is flawed and through a series of events overcomes their problem. That to me is interesting movie-making. No storyline or subplot was left hanging at the end. Maybe I was tired, but I didn't see the end of the movie coming in the first five minutes as one comment stated. This movie is worth your time.
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10/10
A real story for true film lovers
joem412691 December 2004
This is one of the most gratifying films I have seen in a long time. It has distinct characters, a thoroughly engaging story, beautiful cinematography, and wonderful performances. John Travolta has not performed like this in years. It reminded me of what a great actor he is when he really puts his mind to it. Scarlett Johannson is better than she has ever been because this is the juiciest role she has played to date and she does it flawlessly. Gabriel Macht (who I was unaware of) gives a wonderful performance as well. The music is amazing. I heard they're trying to rush a soundtrack out. If you want to be captivated and moved with a few laughs in between, go see this movie.
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8/10
A Bitter Tale of Love, Friendship and Synergy of Invisible People
claudio_carvalho9 February 2006
In Florida, the teenager Purslane Hominy Will (Scarlett Johansson) is lately informed by her mate that her mother passed away. She returns to her hometown, New Orleans, for the funeral and decided to live in her mother's house. However, she finds that the completely decayed house has two drunken dwellers: the former English professor Bobby Long (John Travolta) and his former assistant Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht), who has unsuccessfully been trying to write a book about the life of Bobby Long for nine years. She decides to share the place living together with them and after their initial difficult relationship, they disclose deep secrets and improve their lives.

"A Love Song for Bobby Long" is a bitter tale of love, friendship and synergy of invisible people. With many citations of important writers, the dramatic story has excellent lines and is very positive, with good messages and a well resolved conclusion. The irregular John Travolta and always perfect Scarlett Johansson are splendid in the role of broken, suffered and hopeless characters, and the story is never corny. The music score with typical blues, songs and bands from New Orleans completes this surprisingly good movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Uma Canção de Amor Para Bobby Long" ("A Love Song for Bobby Long")
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8/10
Worthy of the love song
stensson16 August 2005
This is a movie about two alcoholics. One middle-aged and the other on his way to that age. It's difficult to say which company they prefer, the bottle or each other.

Than the young girl arrives and shakes their world. You've seen that theme many times in movie history, but this is for once done in a very intelligent way. Gabriel Macht is very good and Scarlett Johansson, the greatest talent of her young generation, too. But Travolta is probably doing the part of his life so far. Travolta is now a character actor, if anyone is.

American movies don't always tell about these kind of losers in such a sympathetic way. But this one does. The end is sentimental, but never mind. The ride towards that is really worth seeing.
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9/10
Delicate story
ssabel-129 May 2006
At the beginning you don't think you'll get too much involved with the characters. They all appear to be selfish individuals lost in their own needs and emotions. But soon you notice they have much to share, with each other and with the spectator. It's a subtle and delicate story with some surprises. In fact, there are some sudden changes in the story which could have been more slowly explored, in order to assure you get every meaning on its place. However, if you let yourself get involved with the characters' dramas, it'll make your eyes tearful at the end. Good music and good picture complete the worth-a-while status for this film.
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10/10
Blows away!
h-enback12 November 2005
when i first read the plot for this movie i was a bit sceptical, John Travolta and Scarlet Johansson in a movie together? Hmmm... Is this going to be another Lost in Translation? Considering the awesome acting between Bill and Scarlet i at first hand thought that A love song for bobby long would be a bad copy of it. One the other hand i'we never seen Scarlet make a bad flick...

As soon as i started watching it i could not take my eyes of the TV... I have to say this movies is one of 2005 best movies by far. This is NOT a bad copy of (LIT) this is if not better at least as good as it! The script is awesome and the acting MINDBLOWING!

If you still haven't watch it get of your ass and GET IT! This movie will take your mind peace for 1h and 59m!
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9/10
Memorable
msdenton2 February 2007
A real surprise. This is a movie that will stay with you for a long time. The performances from all 3 of the actors are inspiring. John Travolta lights up the screen in every scene he is in.

The soundtrack adds so much texture and feeling to the picture. And it is a surprise to see a pre-Katrina New Orleans.

The atmosphere in this movie reminded me of Midnight in the Garden of Evil. In both cases they captured the special uniqueness and character of the cities.

The pace is slower and more relaxed, which goes a long way in capturing the atmosphere of New Orleans.

I highly recommend this movie.
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9/10
Great Sunday Morning Film
tsmiley12 December 2006
This is a beautiful story with moments that make you thankful of your southern heritage. The scenes of New Orleans before Katrina are haunting. I loved this film. John Travolta plays a dedicated drunk with ease. I have seen that man in my Grandfather and he was just the southern gentleman with knowledge that John Travolta portrays. It makes me miss him and remember the wonderful times we had together. The musical background was native to Louisanna. I wonder how many musicians that played on this are back in Louisanna now. That rich bluesy feeling you get after a pint of bourbon just seems to pour over your soul in the after thought of watching this film.
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8/10
Nice Little Movie
jacquelinemullinix21 March 2006
Just a nice little movie. I really did not dislike any of it. It was just nice. I thought the characters were nice and most importantly the movie did not make judgements on any of them, even though two of the main characters were alchoholics. The acting was good and I am surprised nobody got at least an Oscar nod.

I also liked the locale and the music. It is funny because when this movie was out, I had never heard of it. I don't think it got the publicity that normal John travolta movies get. I also thought it was sad and eerie seeing New Orleans locales before Hurricane Katrina. Anyway, good movie.
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9/10
Terms of Endearment in a Trailer Park
asbufra15 January 2005
I really liked this movie. It is about (among other things) the forgiveness needed to be part of a family and people who drink beer for breakfast, a perfect combination. I was expecting to be bored and was happy to be entertained. A few good laughs, a few moments close to tears, some lovely scenery, and it made me think. What more can you ask for in a movie? The surprise ending seemed to me to be unimportant as so many things were resolved before. John Travolta was great as Bobby Long. I do have a question, does anyone beside me assume that Lawson Pines and Bobby Long were gay? It is New Orleans after all. (not that there is anything wrong with that). They should release this movie to more theaters.
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A good change of pace, a nice story set in New Orleans.
TxMike21 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Up front I want to say I cannot write objectively about "Love Song For Bobby Long". When my wife was house-sitting for good friends in New Orleans, next to Audubon Park, filming for this movie was going on. She grew up in New Orleans, and I consider it a second home. I have spent much time in Audubon Park, on the Saint Charles Avenue street cars, on the levee at the Mississippi River, and in the French Quarter, all locations used in making this movie. So, while I enjoyed the story, I also enjoyed seeing these characters inhabit the territory I know so well. Even if it had been a bad story, I would have enjoyed the movie.

But ... it is a good story. A story about three misfits thrown together as a result of someone else's misfortune. And the story is about how they each discover something about themselves, and grow as a result. A growth each would not experienced, had they not been in the situation. John Travolta is always good, and here he is Bobby Long, former Literature Professor who has dropped out of the mainstream. Scarlett Johansson is perfect as Pursy Will, a high school dropout who looks at waiting tables as an acceptable career. Gabriel Macht is Lawson Pines, a genuine follower, a former protégé of Bobby Long's and erstwhile "author" who can't seem to write anything good. The movie develops deliberately, somewhat like reading a book, and always interesting.

SPOILERS. Pursy is living with her boyfriend in Panama City, Florida, and one day he incidentally tells her Bobby Long called to say her mother had died. She is too late for the funeral, but the gravestone tells us she was 40. She goes to check out the house in Gretna, near the levee, but finds Bobby and Lawson living there in squalor, two apparent drunkards who have no obvious income. They tell her that the will left the house to each of them, one-third owners. What they didn't tell her was they could stay there up to one year, then it belonged to Pursy alone. In a rather long process Pursy gets her GED, looking through her mom's things finds letters to Pursy that she never had the courage to mail, and also finds out Bobby Long is her father. There are many other complications, but Bobby doesn't take care of an infected foot and dies a year later. Lawson writes the book, "Love Song For Bobby Long". Pursy gains confidence and looks towards a career.
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7/10
A Portrait from the Inside
ferguson-630 January 2005
Greetings again from the darkness. A good story overcomes many flaws for a movie and this is a prime example. Inconsistent direction by Shainee Gabel and a weak Cajun accent by John Travolta did not ruin what I found to be very interesting subject matter. Although we never see the local legend, Lorraine, her impact on this strange troupe of characters is beyond question. Watching Scarlett Johansson's quest to unlock her mother's mystique (and her own history) proved very enjoyable for this viewer. Johansson's Purcy Will (named after a weed) is both head strong and independent, while vulnerable and eager. Travolta's iconic Bobby Long and the even-keeled Gabriel Macht are nothing more than alcoholic shells of men who trade literature quotes when Purcy pops into their lives. Much of this is predictable and the flavor that is New Orleans plays a huge part of the feel of the film. Although the novel was difficult to bring to the screen, and improvements could have been made, this film should find an audience. Johansson may a bit "old" for this role (at the ripe age of 20) but her acting skills continue to grow and I love that she is always up for a challenge. She should be fun to watch for years to come.
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8/10
Where the Bayou Comes to Life Here
eric2620034 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"A Love Song for Bobby Long" is the essential film one can truly appreciate. The story is compelling, the script is an editorial delight, the ensemble containing a talent pool of outstanding performers and characters that are three dimensional interesting to enjoy. Purslane Will (Scarlett Johansson) travels to New Orleans to attend her mother's funeral, oblivious to the fact that she inherited a house from her will. But she must also share the abode with two other people; a greying literature professor Dr. Bobby Long (John Travolta) and his young assistant Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht). Both are attempting to usurp each other with quotes and booze. As Pursy cleans up their acts and the house, a bit of a bond ensues between them even through their quarrelling.

As the three live in peace and harmony (yeah right!), more secrets are discovered in Pursy's late mother's will that only Bobby and Lawson know of and another secret that all three don't know about.

It was an all-around emotional roller-coaster ride. It contains humor, intelligent dialogue, sentimental moments and scenes that will lift up your hearts if only a tad bit obscene in some areas. Sure it was a frugal budget, but I've seen high budget movies turn into god-awful clunkers before. I admired the transformation of the house going from a condemned house whose makeover could've been solved by a wrecking ball to an artistically crafted piece of architecture. Where they got the dough is a mystery since the triad are jobless. The bayou setting in New Orleans never looked so sophisticating and the neighborhood they lived in was a landscape's paradise.

John Travolta was terrific from the the likable tough guys he's played like Tony Moreno and Vincent Vega to a more subtle Southerner like Bobby Long, though he was still a bit tense at times. The other leading characters were amazing here too. Scarlett Johansson was really into the character she played and it was hard not to sympathize with her and still looked good, even in shabby apparel. Gabriel Macht shows what he can do with a clever script and at times can out-perform the other two leading performers. And the chemistry between Macht and Johansson didn't feel forced or scripted, but real and natural. This is a movie for the intellects and one to watch if you are a true movie fan.
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10/10
One of the best films made in the last decade!
scltibis22 October 2006
I suppose this film is simply too elegant, too intelligent, and too thought provoking for the average viewer. Perhaps this is why few people have heard of the movie, even though I tend to grab several copies every time I walk into a Blockbuster or a Movie Gallery and put them on top of say, The Pacifier. Or that Larry the Cable Guy movie. I also used to draw mustaches on the cover model of as many issues of Cosmopolitan magazine that I could while I waited in line at the grocery store. Big Flick's in Burlington. I simply deplore mediocrity, and that's pretty much all the marketing machine sells us these days. They sell us so much that is sub par that we begin to accept it as the norm, but I tell you I would gladly pay for excellence instead, and that's what this film delivers. Excellence. The casting is genius and genuine, Travolta and Macht and little miss Scarlet deliver seamless performances, imbuing the characters they portray with a 360 degree view of the evolution of the human soul. The supporting cast, Deborah Unger in specific, deliver the remaining blows to the heart, rendering this film a must see. A must add to your home collection. A must recommend to friends and family. Add to all that the stunning images of a pre Katrina New Orleans, now and forever the best city on Earth, and there is no denying the force A Love Song For Bobby Long carries into an open and evolved soul. The soundtrack, Grayson Capps in particular, is inspired as well.

All in all, this is a literate person's film. A reader's film. A gross portion of the American viewing public would love to actually be as smart as this movie needs them to be, and that's just the sad state of education in the United States. My advice to all of you is simply this: watch it anyway. If you hear something referred to in the film then look up the author on the internet and read the books mentioned in the film. You will be enriched from within, and then will be able to revisit this film with the smarts it requires of a viewer. Rise to the challenge. You will end up a better person from the experience, and there just are not many movies these days that can lay claim to that brand of impact.
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8/10
A taste of 'The Big Easy' that goes down smoothly
savesuave29 June 2006
If you've ever lived in New Orleans you'll enjoy the settings, the director captures the atmosphere nicely, and the script is intelligent and sparkles with flashes of brilliant writing. Travolta shows his chops here, as does Scarlett, some of her best work yet, her style fits the character well, and that is not something one can count on from her. Not to give away the details, for this movie is best when it catches you by surprise, I really had a nice evening with these folks. Though sometimes repulsive, sometimes too long, it will win you over in the end because it makes you care about them. That being said it was a bit far fetched to think a beauty like Scarlett would ever be stuck in such a fix, or Travolta and his buddy either, but they pull it off with terrific performances. Love to see more from this director, she impresses in a big way, and has the potential to be one of the best ever. Treat yourself to this one when the crickets are singing in the summer fields, and if you visit New Orleans first, you'll enjoy it twice as much.
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7/10
The heart is a lonely hunter
jotix1003 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Lorraine Will, whose funeral marks the beginning of the story, had died from a drug overdose. We watch Bobby Long, limping across New Orleans as he gets to the cemetery, not before finishing a bottle, to, perhaps, fortify his spirit. The one that never makes it to the funeral is Lorraine's daughter, Pursy, who lives in Florida with an abusive boyfriend. Upon hearing about her mother's death, Pursy, goes back to New Orleans, but she is a day late.

Going to her mother's house she meets two strangers, Bobby Long, and Lawson Pines. Bobby had been a college professor, and Lawson his assistant. Since they lost their jobs, they relocated to New Orleans, where they lead lives wasted by the amounts of liquor both drink. Pursy comes into this household without a clue as to why these two are living in Lorraine's house. Both men are supposedly the inheritors of the property, but the young woman's arrival changes their position considerably.

Pursy, who has dropped out of school, is coaxed by Bobby and Lawson into getting her GED and to pursue a college education, something she is reluctant to undertake, at first. The fact that the house is in her name and both men had lied about it, comes as a shock to Pursy, who feels betrayed and decides to put it for sale, but it seems she is too deeply involved with these two men. Bobby, it turns out, is closer to her than she ever thought, and she has feelings for Lawson, in spite of the age difference.

Shainee Gabel, who adapted Ronale Everett Capps' novel "Off Magazine Street" into this film, captures the essence of the relationship among these three lost souls living in New Orleans. The film starts slowly but keeps getting better half way into the film. It pays for the viewers to stay with it because of the nuanced character study Ms. Gabel achieves in the film.

John Travolta would have been not our first choice to play Bobby Long, but for better, or worse, he is the man that was tapped to portray this lost soul. At times, he succeeds brilliantly, and at other times, we just don't believe he is that alcoholic man whose talent has gone to waste. Scarlett Johansson gives a good performance as Pursy, the confused young woman who must face reality and deal with it. Gabriel Macht is also effective as Lawson. The best thing though, is the understated reading Deborah Dara Unger gives to Georgianna, the bar maid with a heart of gold who loves Lawson silently.

Watching the film, post-Katrina, we could only wonder what state the neighborhood where the film was shot, a couple of years earlier, would be like right now. One could only hope everything had managed to survive the furor of the storm, although who knows?
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8/10
A truly outstanding film
showgirl62611 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Scarlett Johannsen doesn't normally do much for me. Yeah, she's cute, but that doesn't make her the greatest actress. She's been in a few movies that I thought were okay, but this one was stellar, and she was stellar in it.

The cast of characters - aside from Johannsen, Macht and Travolta - were ghostly and indistinct, while still being integral to the plot...but you don't find out why (and how it all comes together) until the end. It was interesting how they pulled that off. The movie starts out like (pardon the expression) a trailer trash documentary, and I must admit that I only started watching it when I was bored. However, when they started in on the literary quotations, I was reaching for my pen and a piece of paper to make a note of the quote, the book title and author for later digestion. I was hooked.

The dynamic between Travolta and Johannsen was electric, and even that guy Macht that I'd never heard of before (but found to be delicious) was really alive. He's a good actor...I shall watch out for more of his stuff.

Travolta was brilliant. He was so dead set against Johannsen being in his life initially, and he was such a BLEEPITY BLEEP BLEEPING BLEEP, it was really difficult to feel anything for his character in the beginning. Travolta definitely does NOT get the recognition for his skill that he richly deserves.

It was heart-wrenching to watch Johannsen fall for one character for so many wrong reasons (and a few right ones: he was on her side, he gave her all the support and encouragement that she had so desperately needed, and - more importantly - his support and encouragement were genuine and warm, ultimately with no ulterior motives..for perhaps the first time in her life.). But her growing affection for someone she didn't want to care for was really beautiful. It was the end that had me bawling my eyes out. It was perfect. It was sublime.

Watch this movie. Yes, there are some slow parts, but if you want to get as much as you can from this flick, pay attention to all of it. I think you'll be glad you did.

Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.
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10/10
This movie is a "must see" for folks who enjoy a good story, with an entertaining soundtrack.
Claudetteralph7 November 2006
I've seen this movie 4 times and today I recorded it on VHS tape. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The sound track is absolutely wonderful and the movie, although slow moving, tells a beautiful story. Scarlett Johanson is definitely one of our most talented actresses and John Travolta outdoes himself. The accents of the New Orleans residents, including Travolta, are not particularly authentic, but that drawback is easily overlooked. I've been to New Orleans several times and live only 5 hours from there. I have several friends who live there and each of them think this movie rates very high because of the scenery, the interesting characters and the wonderful story line.
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10/10
Real as down-home dirt
m_imdb-38521 August 2006
You don't see many movies where the music fits in seamlessly and is just as important as a supporting player. Bobby Long used music perfectly in this way, as a complement to the emotional dimensions of a story paced by poetry. Remember the great movie Tender Mercies? There is a kinship between the two films, although their stories are very different. In both movies you have a wounded genius, a musical milieu, and Bobby Long (like Robert Duvall) finds his redemption through love. There is much more to the experience of watching this movie, lots and lots of little pleasures, and it takes its own time showing you. You just have to see this one. Travolta is as good as it gets. Hey, Scarlett Johansson is worth the price of admission all by herself, but the many supporting roles -- including Gabriel Macht and Deborah Kara Unger -- are what make this movie real as down-home dirt. I don't know who Shainee Gabel, the director, is, but she took an almost-forgotten novel and she made it sing. I can still hear its echo in my soul.
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10/10
i love movies that even taste sweet
selenedm99921 August 2006
I once read a description, it might even be of New Orleans, but I think it applied to many places in the South.

This description said that New Orleans is a place of "genteel ruin," and I think that phrase beautifully describes the entire feel of this movie. The movie is a simple story of family, but it revolves around people who had dreams and successes once, and whose lives are going to seed. It's sad, but tragically lovely to watch, and it's genuinely great when they redeem themselves in the end.

Scarlett Johansson is her usual luminescent self as a young girl trying to deal with her mother's legacy and find her own way, but the true joy of the film is the relationship between John Travolta and the other main actor (I apologize for forgetting his name). They speak to each other in quotes, and challenge each other's knowledge of literature, which is brave to do in a film. And although we don't like to watch our sex symbols get old, Travolta does a great job as a man whose best years are waaayyyy behind him, but he still manages a sort of seedy grace.

Rounded out with a charming supporting cast and a beautiful sense of New Orleans (and the heat) almost as a character itself, A Love Song For Bobby Long is about as close to perfect as movies can be.
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10/10
Fantastic
swhealton31 July 2006
Travolta does it again. This man has more talent in his little finger that all the suppose to be stars in Hollywood. I had never even heard of this movie until I saw it on cable TV. The first thing to get my attention was Travolta's name. I have never seen a movie that he played in that I did not like. He never plays the same character twice unless of course he is making a sequel. He gives his characters life and a style of their own. He can be bad or good, sweet or sad - and each time you feel it.

This story is a study in character and Travolta takes it to the limit. This is a man that is hurting both mentally and physically. He is lost but he is soon found. And a whole new reason for living is offered to him. He believes in God - now how can a character go wrong if he believes in God.

This is a movie that you want to sit back and relax and just go with it. It is not an action film and so it moves slow. But it has to in order for you to feel the emotions of the characters. They all have their own little demons and yet they try to support each other without really realizing it. In the end they are brought together by pure love.

Watch it and enjoy. If you can't pause it then get your drink and food before watching it. You do not want to miss even one word. All dialog is too important. Miss any and you miss the message.

Great movie done by even greater actors. Leave it up to JT to come up with another gem - he has the knack for it.
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10/10
A wonderful film. Touching, intelligent, and well shot
meridians_frost24 January 2006
This film was a surprise for me. My girlfriend decided that she would rent it one night, and I was neither here nor there about it. I thought that it was going to be another travolta flop. I was mistaken. The movie was mysterious, and genuine. It included an acrhtypal relationship that was romantic, and honest. The story is multi-faceted, philosophical, tragic, and heartwarming. The acting in this film was superb, and all who have the means should take a look. It has made it's way into my top ten movies of all time. And has rekindled my love for the romantic aspect of literature. Well done. They made me put ten lines in, but I was done talking.
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