A Love Song for Bobby Long

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34

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  1. RoseN.
    Dec 12, 2009
    10
    Being from the South, the accents are actually pretty close. This film has been in my collection since he came out on DVD. A lost film about real character, not larger than life outrageous story-lines. Scarlett Johannsen and Gabriel Macht give the best performances in the most. Scarlett as a tough yet still young, impressionable teenage girl who is well beyond her years. Macht as a broken Being from the South, the accents are actually pretty close. This film has been in my collection since he came out on DVD. A lost film about real character, not larger than life outrageous story-lines. Scarlett Johannsen and Gabriel Macht give the best performances in the most. Scarlett as a tough yet still young, impressionable teenage girl who is well beyond her years. Macht as a broken hopeless romantic who has some honor and a lot of guilt. The true beauty in this movie was the well-spoken real life conversation and the enchanting music. I give this movie a 10 because I have watched it at least 30 to 40 times and I fall in love with it all over again every time. Low-budget, but brilliant in its simplicity. Collapse
  2. NickN
    Jul 19, 2008
    10
    Brilliant adaptation of Ronald Everett Capps "Off Magazine Street." This may not be for everyone, but this is one of the films I can't resist each time I see it playing on TV.
  3. LaurenceC.
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    My wife and I just caught up with it on cable and we loved it. Scarlett was magnicient. Travolta was good and Macht was terrific. Also Debbie Unger.
  4. WilliamH.
    Jul 11, 2006
    8
    I thought the film was touching with a real sense of family and the slow southern society.
  5. GazboB
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    I bloody well liked it, John and Scarlett and all the cast played their parts, Elliot Davis did magic with the camera.
  6. EdwinK.
    Apr 15, 2006
    7
    Nice movie with some great songs. Realistic story, not the larger than life kind we get so often. A pitty there are so many spoiled critics around these days. Usually the viewers are no better, but in this case they are pretty spot on.
  7. CarolynW.
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    Great actors, great script. Speaks to those of us from a "broken" home, and who the hell isn't these days. Quite intellectual and may be hard for some to understand, stick to romantic comedies if you can't respect the feel of this moving film.
  8. DanC.
    Aug 15, 2005
    7
    This is a quite good (not great) film that is very emotionally engrossing, as long as you're not a jaded film critic. How refreshing to see a film featuring characters who care so deeply about books. Yes, it's ironic that the film fails to rise to the level of excellence of the novels referenced therein, but the writer can be forgiven for appreciating the classics while himself This is a quite good (not great) film that is very emotionally engrossing, as long as you're not a jaded film critic. How refreshing to see a film featuring characters who care so deeply about books. Yes, it's ironic that the film fails to rise to the level of excellence of the novels referenced therein, but the writer can be forgiven for appreciating the classics while himself falling short of creating one. I found Travolta to be good (not great) in the title role. Scarlett Johansson is a joy to watch, and she handles emotionally complex material convincingly. This was a much more satisfying viewing experience than many recent movies, and it deserves a better metascore than 48 (the gap between the critics and viewer reviews appears to be larger than any other film I've seen reviewed on this website - that should tell you something about the value of this film to real people, as opposed to professional critics). The ending wraps things up a little too neatly for my taste, but I still felt the film had considerable merit. I would definitely recommend it. Expand
  9. LindaD.
    Jul 25, 2005
    9
    I couldn't get enough of this movie. Shades of 'Spitfire Grill' in the South. I'm not a Travolta fan, but his performance here moved me to tears. Scarlett Johansson gets better and better each time I see her. But the biggest, best, was Gabriel Macht, who manages to be a player and observer all at the same time. The story of guilt, love, affection, yes, even honor, are I couldn't get enough of this movie. Shades of 'Spitfire Grill' in the South. I'm not a Travolta fan, but his performance here moved me to tears. Scarlett Johansson gets better and better each time I see her. But the biggest, best, was Gabriel Macht, who manages to be a player and observer all at the same time. The story of guilt, love, affection, yes, even honor, are written in his face everytime he's on screen. Wonderful movie! Expand
  10. laynic
    Jul 19, 2005
    8
    Awesome performances, and touching story. I think Scarlett Johannson is great. I would have liked the movie to be a little longer. I really got into this movie!!
  11. 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
  12. enricoc.
    Feb 2, 2005
    9
    I watched this film 4 times in a recent visit to L.A. and it kept getting better each time I saw it. John Travolta & Scarlett Johansson put in bravura performances and the supporting cast, especially Gabriel Macht and Deborah Unger, were also very strong. The pace of the movie was quite good. In short, a beautiful film that deserves wider distribution - and soon.
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. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    80
    Captivating drama delivers literary flair and Louisiana music and great roles for a grizzled John Travolta and lovely Scarlett Johansson.