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What's the story?
Pursy (Scarlett Johannson) finds out too late that her mother, Lorraine, has died. By the time she arrives, the funeral is over, and she stays at the house owned by her mother. The two men who rent the house, Bobby (John Travolta) and Lawson(Gabriel Macht), are afraid of losing hteir home. So they convince Pursy that Lorraine left the house to the three of them. So Pursy moves in.
Is it any good?
A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG is one of those insufferable movies where three bundles of quirk and backstory intended to approximate characters are thrown together because of some writer's fantasy. The writer may hope that he can show them learning something from each other or meaning something to each other, but the real fantasy is that just putting it all on screen together will make it into something worth watching. It isn't. And by the way, the idea that by giving your characters quotations by great writers as dialogue will make them seem smart is a fantasy, too. And so is the idea that grandeloquence in Southern accents transforms trashy behavior and tired formulas into something grand and gothic. If you're going to Faulkner-ize squalor, you've got to write better than this.
This film is fundamentally misconceived. If it had a sense of humor about itself, it might have found some energy and spirit, but its inflated view of its own insights and its essential phoniness make it a long slog to the unsurprising surprise ending. Will she find a way to forgive her mother for abandoning her? Will she find resources in herself that she could never have imagined? Will she discover that those two men, though they drink too much) have deeply poetic souls and loving hearts? Will there be important revelations about Mom and ... Dad? You betcha. Will viewers care about any of it? Not so much.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: December 29, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: April 19, 2005
- Cast: Dane Rhodes, John Travolta, Scarlett Johansson
- Director: Shainee Gabel
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 119 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language including some sexual references
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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