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A Love Song for Bobby Long
DVD disk
04.26.2005 By: Quigles
A Love Song for Bobby Long order
Director:
Shainee Gabel

Actors:
John Travolta
Scarlett Johansson
Gabriel Macht

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After the death of her mother, young Pursy discovers she has been left as one of the owners to a house, also referred to as a “shit-hole”. The other two owners are Bobby Long, a former literature Professor turned alcoholic, and his protégé Lawson, also a big-time drinker. Two hours of character exploration and dealing with emptiness follows.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie has a specific audience it’s geared toward, so it isn’t too hard to decide whether or not this film is for you. If the idea of a movie that is entirely character-driven, deals with pain and loneliness, and consists of a few laughs here and there seems like your cup of vodka, then I bet you can tell which type of viewer you are. Movies like these usually aren’t my favorite kind of flicks, but I try to enjoy them all the same. It was pretty easy to do that here, due mainly to the fact that the performances were excellent (it is a character based movie after all). Aside from the off-and-on accents, each of the three leads did very well to hold their own on screen. Travolta came back in fine form as the old man who simply doesn’t want to die forgotten and alone. Johansson was just as strong as the trashy girl who had no real parents. Last, but certainly not least, is Macht, who surprisingly was able to make himself just as interesting as the other two more “well-known” actors.

While this may not be the most exciting flick, it certainly has its moments, and is at the very least engaging. The characters are unique and have plenty of quirks to keep them interesting. Despite this, the movie does seem to drag on for a bit too long, and has a ho-hum ending that fails at surprising. The movie also borders on being cliché (a lot actually), but since it’s so well done, it’s not really worth complaining about. I especially enjoyed the setting, which cleverly exploited the New Orleans surroundings whenever possible. For a first time director, Gabel sure showed promise, both in little details and overall emotional draw. Now then, on a final note, I’d like to say that if you don’t like either Travolta or Johansson, then chances are you won’t enjoy this movie either, because they practically ARE the film. I personally found them both to be wonderful and greatly appealing... and of course I’m referring to Johansson’s voluptuous breasts, which she willingly flaunts (thanks hun!).
THE EXTRAS
Not that it matters terribly for a movie like this, but the extras are pretty bare.

Audio Commentary (with Director and Cinematography): A deeply engaging and strong commentary. The visuals in the film play an intricate part alongside the main story, so it’s a good duo. Lots of details are discussed, and the result is enjoyable.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (10:13): There are 9 of them. Simple but satisfying scenes that don’t bring much to the film, but are nice to be able to check out. I especially enjoyed the one in the car with Johansson being “naughty”.

Behind the Scenes (28:10): Your standard, uninteresting “making-of” that consists of too many interviews and an overuse of film clips to take up time. Skip it.

We also get a bunch of Previews, and included in those is the film’s Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It’s a simple movie, but also a pleasant one. Maybe not in the sense that it’s fun to watch, but it makes you think and care about life and the people involved. To anyone who has ever felt alone in the world, this is a movie to check out. It’s an easy feeling to identify with to be sure. The extras aren’t superb, but it doesn’t drag the experience down too much. There’s nothing really new that you haven’t seen before, but if you like the actors, this is definitely a movie to watch at least once or twice.
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