starring John Travolta, Scarlett Johansson, Gabriel Macht, Deborah Kara Unger
screenplay by Shainee Gabel, based on the novel Off Magazine Street by Ronald Everett Capps
directed by Shainee Gabel
by Walter Chaw Scarlett Johansson's character in Shainee Gabel's Faulknerian idiot man-child of a Southern Gothic A Love Song for Bobby Long is named "Pursey," which strikes me as the least lascivious but still accurate way to describe the suddenly-gorgeous starlet. Though she's adequately attired in her country-fried accent and long, hot summer finery, truth be told, she's already too good for this kind of material--a compliment that sheds light on her co-stars (John Travolta, Gabriel Macht), who are, to a one, not up to the film's desperate pretensions. In A Love Song for Bobby Long, see, every other line of dialogue is either a George Sand quote or a drawling, laconic narrative voiceover. (If it weren't overlit and lousy with drowsy exteriors, I would have mistaken it for another Clint Eastwood film.) And if you don't have a strong sense of self-awareness, you have no place in the sort of turgid julep this post-Tennessee Williams potboiler serves up as refreshment.