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A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004)



Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 17

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 22,258

My Rating

Movie Info

Upon hearing of her mother's death, jaded teenage loner Purslane Hominy Will returns to New Orleans for the first time in years, ready to reclaim her childhood home. Expecting to find her late mother's house abandoned, Pursy is shocked to discover that it is inhabited by two of her mother's friends: Bobby Long, a former literature professor, and his young protege, Lawson Pines. These broken men, whose lives took a wrong turn years before, have been firmly rooted in the dilapidated house for



Shainee Gabel

Feb 22, 2005


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All Critics (105) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (57) | DVD (19)

Traffics in nearly every trite cliche of the 'colorful' South one can think of.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sentimental but occasionally moving drama.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Engaging and transparent at once.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A Love Song for Bobby Long travels all the worn-out roads.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

First-time director Shainee Gabel generally does a good job of moving things along, though the story feels disjointed at times.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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The movie can't save itself from stewing in some awfully familiar juices.

January 28, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not for kids, and not worth it for adults.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The film's liabilities outweigh its assets.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A Love Song for Bobby Long's trio of lead performances are surprisingly believable.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Mais um daqueles independentes norte-americanos cuja presunção de soar profundo logo revela sua verdadeira intenção: emocionar através do melodrama.

March 28, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Tries the patience of sober viewers, who are likely to envy the onscreen eccentrics their ever-present plastic cups of Abita...

March 14, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

We should take it no more seriously than we would Bobby Long himself. Like the old professor, it talks such amusing nonsense.

March 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The film shares many qualities with its rambling and at times honestly endearing characters: it's sloppy, decent-hearted and most often embarrassing.

March 5, 2005
Philadelphia Weekly

It's little more than a collection of cliches about the Deep South, alcoholism and the literary arts.

February 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Things move at a snail's pace in the humid bayou atmosphere writer-director Shainee Gabel creates, allowing Travolta to chew several yards of Cajun-spiced scenery.

February 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

This, incidentally, is one of the rare movies about authors in which the character's writing actually seems good enough to be publishable.

February 17, 2005 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

John is a fine actor, he's not quite a match for this part, nor does his southern accent ring true. Perhaps Billy Bob Thornton would have made a better cast.

February 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

Delights as often as it dulls the senses.

February 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Boeuf
Movie Boeuf

The cast appears to have mistaken a verbose screenplay for great writing.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

An above-average independent movie that gives us an interesting version of a popular indie theme: difficult parents and the fallout for their neglected children.

January 28, 2005
Philadelphia Daily News

The movie's climactic plot twist seems inevitable from about 10 minutes in.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Audience Reviews for A Love Song for Bobby Long

"It has its moments."

Exactly my opinion about the movie. When I came to leave my rating, I saw it already being rated as "NOT INTERESTED". Time!!! But having seen it now, it's neither awfully boring (give or take a few moments) nor the least interesting.All the same, relatively better than a few I recently sat through. Check it out if you're running out of options.
August 13, 2012

Super Reviewer

One of John Travolta's best performances ever. He's smart, funny, brilliant, incredible and unforgettable. An Oscar caliber performance. He has never delivered a better performance than he has here. Scarlett Johansson is sensational. Gabriel Macht is terrific. The entire cast works with such energy and dedication. An outstanding movie. Riveting, enjoyable, proficient and wonderfully entertaining. This is such an marvelous film. A beautiful piece of film that never misses a note. A masterpiece plain and simple. Simply magnificent and unforgettable. It's moving, intelligent and well-crafted.
March 4, 2010

Super Reviewer

Brilliant. John Travolta is so utterly lovable in this. The whole plot of the movie is fantastic and all of the actors perform amazingly. One of my favorites, for sure.
June 23, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Lawson Pines: You know, I knew your mother pretty well.
    2. Pursy Will: How well?
    3. Lawson Pines: She was hard to understand. But she kept the door to her heart open.
    4. Pursy Will: Well, the way I've heard it was more of a revolvin' door, now, wasn't it?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Lawson Pines: You know that you eat like shit?
    2. Pursy Will: You drink too much?
    3. Lawson Pines: Okay?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Georgianna: So now what? Lorraine finally kick ya'll out?
    2. Bobby Long: No... she never would. Besides, God wouldn't let that happen.
    3. Lawson Pines: Really? And why not?
    4. Bobby Long: Because God knows me and I know God.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Lee: Look, I'm sorry. Why don't you just cook me some dinner and I'll go rent us some porno?
    2. Pursy Will: I have to go to a funeral, Lee. Unless I miss it because you forgot to tell me that my mother is dead!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Lawson Pines: We die only one, and for such a long time.
    2. Bobby Long: Moliere.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Bobby Long: We cannot tear it out a single page of our lives, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.
    2. Lawson Pines: George Sand.
    3. Bobby Long: Now, I thought that would be a hard one.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
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