Rediscovering “A Love Song for Bobby Long”

By Ronald Everett Capps – The lives of Bobby Long, content drowning his life in alcohol and tolerant woman, and his partner, Byron Burns, take a bizarre turn when their female companion dies and they find themselves putting up her young daughter, Hanna.

The movie “A Love Song for Bobby Long” like the book, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, deals with the invisible people most just pass by or only notice with a curled up “I smell something” kind of stare.

The movie is inspired by the novel Off Magazine Street by Ronald Everett Capps. It centers around 18-year-old Pursy, who was named after the weed, Purslane. Pursy moves into her deceased mother’s dilapidated house in Louisiana and discovers two broken and well-read drunks Bobby Long and his protege’ Gabriel. Pursy is disgusted by the mere sight of these no account drunks, but soon realizes there is much more to these invisible people the world has thrown away.

Hell, even the negative reviews this movie received demonstrate a fascination with the South. When Stephen Holden of the NY Times bashed it, it was with undisclosed envy: “Another example of Hollywood’s going soft and squishy when it goes South.” Holden wrote. “Southerners’ blood is redder and richer than everyone else’s, we are asked to believe, and their secrets are darker.”

Damn straight Holden.