Why “A Love Song For Bobby Long”?

After seeing the film A Love Song For Bobby Long so many aspects of my life changed. The most significant one is I have a new appreciation for films that are off the beaten path with a good blend of specific qualities. It’s not as though I abhor major blockbusters. In small doses they are fine. It’s just that I now crave something a little more substantial.

A Love Song For Bobby Long is the standard by which my film selections are now measured. Here’s why:

Cinematography

The visuals in this film are breathtaking. They have an atmospheric quality that puts me in mind of places I’ve lived in or seen before. Given the circumstances I would be hanging out in these places and visiting with these people often. I have a propensity to want to lose myself and become invisible, too.

Soundtrack

Ever since American Graffiti the film soundtrack has been a movie staple. The question is, “Does the soundtrack simply provide the viewer with a keepsake to add to their music collection or does it actually support the film?” Every piece of incidental music in Love Song is deliberate and well-placed to evoke emotion. This is important since music is an uncredited and persistent character in this film.

Style

The film unfolds as it is narrated from a fictional novel. As such the film moves with literary qualities. This serves to stand literature up another supporting character.

Pace

This film meanders at the pace of a slow walk through a sweltering southern midday in late Summer. Thrill rides are fun…for all of about five minutes. When they’re finished and you’ve left the park, you must get back to the business of dealing with the real world. Bobby Long is not a thrill ride. It takes its time with you.

John and Scarlett

John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson are two of my favorite actors who, coincidentally, have appeared in films that appeal to me in the same sense. John’s Michael (1996) and Phenomenon (1996) as well as Scarlett’s Ghost World (2001), and Lost In Translation (2003) would all be sitting side by side on the same shelf if it was practical to organize my collection according to my own custom genres.

A Good Cry

Even as a young child I would tear up when Frosty the Snowman melted. That’s not a learned response. It has been ingrained all along. I’ve always found it cathartic to watch films that toy with my emotions. I refuse to acknowledge a genre named “chick flick” and urge film buffs who would actually utter the phrase to reevaluate their definitions. A movie is either great or it isn’t. That is all.

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