Adrienne Onofri
April 18, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In an interview on the extras of A Love Song for Bobby Long, John Travolta gushes, ”Shainee is to this material as Quentin Tarantino was to Pulp Fiction.” Writer-director Shainee Gabel’s Tarantino-ish passion may account for her overly obvious effort to capture the quirky poetry of the South. Travolta’s English prof-turned-New Orleans wastrel doles out advice in literary quotations, and Gabriel Macht’s hokey narration sounds like bad imitation Tennessee Williams. But the film thrives on Travolta’s charm, and his costars are also appealing, even if Johansson comes off too quick-witted and Macht too Hollywood hunky. EXTRAS In their commentary, Gabel and cinematographer Elliot Davis discuss achieving the movie’s gumbothick ambiance through carefully selected New Orleans locales and light and color schemes (like Travolta’s white hair). Included in the deleted footage is what would have been the film’s only sex scene, between Scarlett Johansson and a boy who’s never seen again.

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