Bobby Long (John Travolta) is a washed up former literature professor with a voracious drinking habit. He lives in a rundown house in New Orleans with Lawson Pines (Gabriel Macht of The Recruit), his former star pupil, also an alcoholic. Lawson is allegedly writing a novel about Bobby. Their depressive little corner of the world is disrupted when Lorraine, the beloved eccentric singer who owns their house, dies. Her teenage daughter, Pursy (Scarlett Johansson), who hasn't seen her mother in years, arrives in town too late for the funeral, and crashes at the house. Afraid of being thrown out on the street, Bobby convinces Lawson to tell Pursy that the house has been left to all three of them. Pursy, having little else to do, decides to move in, and starts cleaning up the place, making it her own. Lawson is involved with Georgianna (Deborah Kara Unger), who works at the local bar, but he quickly develops a crush on the comely Pursy. The cantankerous Bobby seems determined to drive the girl away. As Pursy settles into the diverse little community, all of Lorraine's old friends tell her how much she looks like her mother, and she begins to uncover some startling truths about her family history. A Love Song for Bobby Long is based on the novel Off Magazine Street, by Ronald Everett Capps. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Shainee Gabel, who co-directed the documentary Anthem.