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Movie Review: A Love Song for Bobby Long

Alternate Title: Southern Discomfort

Story: Like a hot, humid Louisiana day, this slow moving film, alive with stereotypical characters, who seem to give trailer trash its definition, comes creeping onto the big screen.

Director and writer Shainee Gabel (from the novel Off Magazine Street by Ronald Everett Capps, attempts to echo the characters found in great Southern American literature (but falls short).

We find a motley bunch of academics and musicians who have fallen from grace (but we are not sure why). Entering into their drunken good for nothing lives is 18 year old Pursy who has just discovered her estranged mother died and left her a third of the old house where two of these bums are now living.

What happens to these people? How do we define family? What secrets do they all hold? Do we care at all?

This is one of those films that almost makes it on some levels but it just doesn't fill the bill. I think it belongs more on the Lifetime, Oxygen or WE networks than on the big screen.

Acting: I have never been a big John Travolta fan. I have liked some of his work but mostly I think he is smug, never out of his John Travolta character and overrated. Here, as Bobby Long, he is white haired, puffy and has a southern accent. As in many of his films, we do get a short scene with him dancing. Scarlett Johansson is a very talented young lady. I like that she has an interesting face and I can actually separate her from the many other young actresses, who all seem to have the same cookie cutter face. Gabriel Macht, was believable as the other young wreck of a thing in the house.

Predilection: None.

Critters: None.

Food: This film takes place right outside New Orleans, so of course, there is plenty of food (and booze).

Blatant Product Placement: Charles Chips, M&M's.

Soundtrack: Cloying.

Theater Audience: Only one other person.

Sappy Factor: 4 (that's why it belongs on those other TV networks I mentioned above).

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Range: Because these two drunks were former academians we get many quotes from great writers. Every time they quoted something it was so much better than the writing in the film I kept thinking about the quote and hoping I could remember it (but couldn't).

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: It could have been a better film with more editing.

Big Screen or Rental: I think this will be on your next airplane ride so don't bother with the big screen. For a few of Scarlett Johansson's films try: Girl with a Pearl Earring, Lost in Translation, The Man Who Wasn't There, Ghost World, The Horse Whisperer and Manny & Lo.

Length: Too long at two hours.