First, she added depth to a supporting role as the daughter of a middle-aged ad salesman (Dennis Quaid) who becomes involved with her father's young boss (Topher Grace) in writer-director Paul Weitz's comedy "In Good Company." Following that moderate box office success, she gave a Golden Globe-nominated (but little-seen) performance as a headstrong teen who returns to her late mother's home to unexpectedly share it with a pair of booze-soaked intellectual boarders (John Travolta and Gabriel Macht) in the Southern-influenced character drama "A Love Song for Bobby Long." In both films, Johansson's potent combination of adolescent freshness and wise-beyond-her-years maturity helped breathe a compelling realism into her roles. Off-screen, her male admirers were disappointed to find out that the young Hot symbol had her own leading man, Josh Hartnett, with whom she began a two-year relationship in 2004. In an unfortunate introduction into the sci-fi action genre, Johansson was cast as the lead in director Michael Bay's misfire "The Island" (2005), as a woman living in a post-Apocalyptic world only to discover it is a façade for something much more sinister.
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As expected from an actress who generally shone under the employ of more artful auteurs, Johansson fared better in Woody Allen's serious-minded "Match Point" (2005), playing a sensual but struggling American actress in London who takes up with her ex-beau's brother-in-law (Jonathan Rhys-Myers), forcing him to choose between her and his comfortable, status-granting marriage. The result was another Golden Globe nomination and one of Allen's best works in years. Johansson would, in fact, become a kind of muse for the director, who would cast her in several more of his films.