Director: Shainee Gabel
Writers: Ronald Everett Capps (novel), Shainee Gabel (screenplay)
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, John Travolta, Gabriel Macht
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 protégé, Lawson Pines. These broken men, whose lives took a wrong turn years before, have been firmly rooted in the dilapidated house for years, encouraged only by Lawson's faltering ambitions to write a novel about Bobby Long's life. Having no intention of leaving, Pursy, Bobby Long and Lawson are all forced to live together. Yet as time passes, their tenuous, makeshift arrangement unearths a series of buried personal secrets that challenges their bonds, and reveals just how inextricably their lives are intertwined.
Greetings again from the darkness. A good story overcomes many flaws for a movie and this is a prime example. Inconsistent direction by Shainee Gabel and a weak Cajun accent by John Travolta did not ruin what I found to be very interesting subject matter. Although we never see the local legend, Lorraine, her impact on this strange troupe of characters is beyond question. Watching Scarlett Johansson's quest to unlock her mother's mystique (and her own history) proved very enjoyable for this viewer. Johansson's Purcy Will (named after a weed) is both head strong and independent, while vulnerable and eager. Travolta's iconic Bobby Long and the even-keeled Gabriel Macht are nothing more than alcoholic shells of men who trade literature quotes when Purcy pops into their lives. Much of this is predictable and the flavor that is New Orleans plays a huge part of the feel of the film. Although the novel was difficult to bring to the screen, and improvements could have been made, this film should find an audience. Johansson may a bit "old" for this role (at the ripe age of 20) but her acting skills continue to grow and I love that she is always up for a challenge. She should be fun to watch for years to come.