‘Forever My Girl’ Review: The Romance never clicks in this sweet, predictable film

Forever My Girl is the latest retelling of the “price of fame,” keeping the story family friendly, sweet and yet gripping. Based on the novel by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, Forever My Girl stars Alex Roe (The 5th Wave) as Liam Page, a Country superstar who reunited with his first love, Josie, the girl he left at the altar, played by Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day, La La Land).

Liam and Josie were the “golden couple” of their small town, Saint Augustine, Louisiana, and Liam’s return after eight years of fame and excess is met with animosity, struggle, outrage and a new perspective. Manhattan star John Benjamin Hickey plays Liam’s father, the town pastor and a man who has denied his own demons in raising his son.
Writer/Director Bethany Ashton Wolf moves the story along with predictable cliches, focusing on the characters’ emotions and evolution on screen. Abby Ryder Fortson (Ant-Man) really shines and steals many of the scenes away from her adult co-stars.
Forever My Girl attempts to be a romantic film (like Nicholas Sparks), but never revels in any redemption. Josie’s recovery from the pain of the past just moves too fast to be digestible and Liam sort of escape true penalty for being such an awful person, making awful decisions. Even Robin Williams’ character on Mrs. Doubtfire has to adjust to a new life void of the wife he was leaving behind in a wake of chaos.
Liam spends more time with Fortson’s character in meaningful scenes, so the romance spin just never hits on all cylinders.
The film has been billed in some circles as a faith-based film and that is untrue. I’m uncertain if Hickey’s pastor ever really discusses God, definitely not Jesus, in his generic messages on forgiveness and being a “good person.” My criticism is of this one element, Hickey is great and stands out among an ordinary cast.
Forever My Girl is a fair time of entertainment, clean for the younger crowd (only Liam’s excessive drinking could cause pause) and has a sweet, nice spirit and ending.
Forever My Girl receives 2 1/2 stars (which is generous), so subtract a 1/2 star if you are looking for something unique, special or powerful. I’m unfamiliar with the source material so it’s hard to know how the film may have deviated.

Movie Website:  www.ForeverMyGirlTheMovie.com

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“Liam, who embodies music-industry debauchery as imagined by someone who doesn’t like imagining debauchery, is at peak popularity but emotionally hollowed out. Luckily, his best friend from high school (glimpsed in the wedding scene) dies off-camera and brings him back to St. Augustine, Louisiana for the funeral.”That may sound like a glib simplification of a sad event, but it’s barely more so than the movie itself. The plot kills off one of its only black characters (and weirdly sidelines his widow) in order to cause what amounts to a mild inconvenience en route to its white leads’ potential lifetime of happiness.”

To install RACISM into this film is shameful and disgusting. Yes, these two characters were black and it would have added more subtext to have the widow around Josie and interacting with Liam, but the tone in this review is a reflection of the times, making “everything about race” and is UNFAIR to the film itself.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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