Love Song for Bobby Long, A

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

This adult version of Second Hand Lions features two men with mysterious pasts living in a run-down house on the outskirts of New Orleans. Alcoholics Bobby Long (John Travolta) and Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht) live in squalor with no visible means of support. The house was owned by their friend, a singer named Lorraine, who has just died. Lorraines estranged 18-year-old daughter, Pursy (Scarlett Johansson), returns to attend her mothers funeral and discovers these two losers occupying Lorraines house. Behind the strangers scrubby beards, smokers breath and alcoholic stupor are a once highly respected English professor and a talented writer. A high-school dropout, Pursy suddenly gives Bobby and Lawson a cause. The three decide to share the house. A close friendship develops, Pursy enrolls in school, and Lawson agrees to give up liquor. The lazy, relaxed life of rural Louisiana, their close-knit group of musician friends and some hilarious efforts to adapt all make Love Song for Bobby Long an entertaining, bittersweet love story.

From empty to full, from disgusting to admirable, these two dissipated friends lead viewers down a bumpy road to redemption after the sudden appearance of an unwelcome stranger. The spewing of more than 60 obscenities and profanities by the three main characters is an assault to the ears, and Bobby and Lawsons continuous drinking is sometimes treated humorously, as when Lawson mixes gin with pickle juice. The two men suffer from a crippling guilt of past mistakes that destroyed Bobbys teaching career and Lawsons future as a writer. Their way of dealing with it has been to drown their sorrows in liquor. The biggest mystery may be where the money comes from to finance their destructive habits. Neither ever goes anywhere but to the corner bar. Pursy has her own straightening out to do as she learns that her bitterness toward her mother is misguided. With no sex, nudity or violence, except for one kick to the groin, the offensive language is a shame and prevents Previews endorsement of A Love Song for Bobby Long.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Lion's Gate

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times mild (hell 1, damn 5); moderate (b-stard 1); strong (-ss 7)

Obscene Language: Many (51) times mild (pee 1); moderate (p-ss 5); strong (f-word 21, s-word 14, finger gesture 1, slang for male & female genitals 9)

Profanity: Many (18) times strong (GD 14, J 1, C 3)

Violence: Once moderate (girl kicks man in groin)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once mild (near nudity with girl in shower covered by towel)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (implied sexual relationship); strong (man sings bawdy song with graphic sexual terms)

Drugs: Many times mild (drinking in bars); moderate (two alcoholic men drink continuously, man suffers from withdrawal when he tries to stop); cigarette smoking

Other: Appropriate use of phrase God knows me a few times; lessons of dealing with past mistakes, need for friendship and love; girls search for truth leads to understanding and compassion; man urinating without nudity

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.