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Look out for more coverage of
A Love Song for Bobby Long in our magazines

THE MOVIE: A Love Song for Bobby Long

THE STARS:
John Travolta • Scarlett Johansson • Gabriel Macht
DIRECTOR: Shainee Gabel

Pursy Will (Scarlett Johansson) and Bobby Long (John Travolta) THE CONCEPT:
After her mother’s death, jaded teenager Pursy returns to New Orleans, ready to reclaim her childhood home, but is shocked to discover that it is inhabited by two of her mother’s friends, Bobby Long, a former literature professor, now a broken man and alcoholic, and his young protégé, Lawson. Forced to share the house, the three of them soon discover just how inextricably their lives are intertwined.

U.S. RELEASE: December 29 2004, Nationwide
• Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

JOHN TRAVOLTA:
“I really enjoy allowing myself to be the actor that I want to be, and this is a role that I found to be everything that I wanted to do as a young actor, but didn’t have the years to be it. I had to live a little bit, I couldn’t have done this role at 23. That’s the luxury of getting older.”

GABRIEL MACHT:
“I remember seeing John Travolta when I was six years old in Grease, and thinking, ‘I want to do what that guy does.’ It was just really inspiring for me to be in same film as him and to share these characters and these lives together.”

SHAINEE GABEL:
“It’s very frightening to allow a first time film-maker to make a movie no matter what, but I think simply by being a woman you are different and it adds a layer that is subconscious. John was very supportive, but I was very aware of how long he’s been doing this, and his level of experience and professionalism, and I learned an enormous amount from him, but at my soliciting, not at his insistence.”

TRAVOLTA:
“I was very confident in Shainee, she had a vision and she had a script, and I trusted both and I went with it. All I needed to know was that she trusted me, because I wanted to make bold moves. I said, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to like how I look in this, but you wrote an unhealthy, alcoholic, very bright and poetic guy. Don’t get taken by the fear of someone not wanting to look at me like this, let’s go with it, and she did and I was very proud of her.”

MACHT:
“John immediately became Bobby Long for me, and the next two weeks of his transformation, of his bleaching his hair out gray, and finding the limp that he added on, the character really took shape and was inspiring.”

TRAVOLTA:
“I love to do research for a character. There was a great opportunity here to become more familiar with famous writers and pieces of literature that were important to [Bobby Long].”

GABEL:
“Bobby Long is so taken with books, stories and characters that it becomes impossible for him to live mundanely because everything in books is so much more beautiful, romantic, sad, joyous or sexy. There’s something about embellishing that makes it seem better and more exciting, to the point where he can’t live his own life, even though he seemed to have had a pretty great and vivid life.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official A Love Song for Bobby Long site
Images above © Lions Gate Films
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #653, February 2005 cover

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