Thursday, March 4, 2010

Friday Movie and Book Rec

This week's movie is Love Song for Bobby Long an American film starring John Travolta, Scarlett Johansson and Gabriel Macht.

I adore this movie for several reasons. The story is set and the movie was filmed in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. You can feel New Orleans in the way the story unfolds, kinda slow and lazy in the Delta heat. It stars Scarlett Johansson who I am quite fond of as an actress and Gabriel Macht who is a beautiful man and does not star in enough movies.

The story is melancholy and tragic and yet happy enough in the end. It's a story that shows that everyone has family whether they think they deserve it or not and even misfits fit in once they find home. I am not a big John Travolta fan these days but this is not his typical role. And while his character in this movie is not very likable in the beginning, you can't help but grow to care about him as he seeks redemption. Ultimately the movie teaches us that a lot of times broken people can't heal themselves but they can heal each other.

The book I have for you this week is Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend by Robert James Waller.

This is from the same man who wrote 'The Bridges of Madison County'. While I must admit that I find the prose florid, the metaphors exalted and the characters Mary Sues, I still have a real love of this book. Maybe it's because it's set partly on a Midwestern college campus and partly in India, one place I spent some of the best times of my life and the other I hope to do the same someday. Maybe it's because he writes with a certain nostalgia and melancholy, both things that I adore. The sentimentality is nearly unforgivable at times and yet this book speaks to me. In fact there are lines of it that I could even say haunt me without being guilty of exaggeration.

Both the book and the movie leave me with the same longing for places I've never been but might go to, people I've never met but might love, someone I've never been but could be. I hope they do the same for you.

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