A Love Song for Bobby Long

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35

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User Reviews

  1. MarkB.
    Jun 2, 2005
    4
    After giving his best performance in years as the captain in the hokey but satisfying firefighter drama Ladder 49, John Travolta follows it up with one of his worst. as a dissolute, alcoholic English teacher and psuedo-literate, Travolta's southern accent is about as convincing as his snow-white hair, which kind of reminds me of the way Billy Idol's would look after being thrown After giving his best performance in years as the captain in the hokey but satisfying firefighter drama Ladder 49, John Travolta follows it up with one of his worst. as a dissolute, alcoholic English teacher and psuedo-literate, Travolta's southern accent is about as convincing as his snow-white hair, which kind of reminds me of the way Billy Idol's would look after being thrown into a Marine Corps barber chair. Scarlett Johannson plays an 18-year-old who ends up staying with Travolta and drinking buddy Gabriel Macht after her mother dies; lots of ersatz local color and Big Revelations involving unseen characters ensue. Although Bobby Long endlessly and patronizingly drops literary names and quotes like Joan Rivers drops celebrity names on Oscar night, it has very little respect for the intelligence of its audience; although we see Johannson reading Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter several times beforehand, late in the film when a crucial reference is made to it, director Shainee Gabel feels the need to cut to a close-up of the book again...you know, so us unwashed audience members get the point. Johannson proves again that she may be the best actress of her age currently working, but her small shoulders can't overcome the burden placed on them by Travolta and Macht's dinner-theater Tennessee Williams antics; at a solid 120 minutes, this Love Song is a long, long concert of mostly wrong notes. Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Bobby Long can enchant you. It's a film that feels lived in, confident despite its conventions.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    A pedigree cast elevates old-fashioned material and lackluster screenwriting.
  3. Captivating drama delivers literary flair and Louisiana music and great roles for a grizzled John Travolta and lovely Scarlett Johansson.