In 2006, Helen Hunt was coerced out of “semi-retirement,” as she put it, to take a small role in Emilio Estevez’s directorial effort Bobby, which centered on the day Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Of the film’s importance to her, Hunt said, “My daughter will hear what [Kennedy] said in a way that might be feelable to her in a way, because she will have—if she watches the movie—will have watched this group of human beings make their way toward that fateful moment, so by the time Bobby Kennedy’s speech plays, you know, her heart will be open and she will really hear what he said.”
Hopefully Hunt’s daughter had the intended reaction, unlike Ty Burr at The Boston Globe, who wrote, “Bobby is a cry of sociopolitical agony that shoots itself in the foot on a scene-by-scene basis” and compared the film to “a freeway pileup.” Critic Cole Smithey was even less kind, writing, “This movie has everything to do with Estevez’s needy ego, and nothing to do with Bobby Kennedy. It is a disgrace.”
Granted, none of those are particular slams against Hunt, but we’re guessing Bobby wasn’t exactly the triumphant Hollywood return she may have had in mind.