Forever My Girl (2018) Film Review
There’s something about the boy-returns-to-small-town (or girl) story that connects with an audience. When done well, it provides 2 hours of enchanting romance. One of the recent films in this genre is the book-to-film adaptation of Forever My Girl. A sweet hometown reunion romance that is really quite good.
The film begins with a perfect wedding day; the sun shines, the guests arrive and the bride is radiant. Unfortunately, Josie’s smile turns to tears when she’s told her fiancé, Liam (Alex Roe), has left her at the altar.
Nearly ten years later, Liam lives out of a tour bus as one of country music’s highest-selling musicians. Though he lives the life he thought he wanted, Liam is anything but happy. And when he sees on the news that one of his high school friends has tragically died, he decides to revisit his small hometown. Once there, he comes face-to-face with Josie (Jessica Rothe), the girl he stood up all those years before.
In the meantime, Josie has changed, a lot. She’s made a life for herself and raises her young daughter, Billy quite on her own. Liam’s return complicates things, not just for her, but also for Liam who doesn’t know he has a daughter.
As far as this story trope goes, Forever My Girl is one of the sweetest I’ve seen. It’s got all the right materials to make the viewer happy and engaged for a night’s entertainment. There’s romance, there’s laughter and a solid portrait of forgiveness.
Though this one did appear in the theaters for a short time, it’s turnaround to digital release was relatively quiet. Sad, since it’s an underrated story that really does deserve more attention.
To start with, the performances are wonderful. Jessica Rothe isn’t an actress whom I’m familiar with, but she impresses. Then there’s the leading man who’s equal parts brooding and charming. Plus, I find it exciting to see Alex Roe in something again since he impressed me in The 5th Wave. But it’s really Abby Ryder Fortson as young Billy who impresses the most. She commands each and every scene she’s in. Her adorable and intelligent character earns the most giggles as we discover she’s much smarter than the adults give her credit for.
With a clever script to work with, the performances shine. Everything about the film is really to be complimented. The cast helps to frame the story in all the right ways so that we can experience this story. It’s one of hope and emotions, all of which works beautifully with the message of forgiveness and finding a home.
Underrated or not, Forever My Girl is full of so much joy and just by watching it, we feel joy. The story impacts in subtle ways, and for those of us who like romance, there’s plenty of charm. Even with a few imperfections, this is a film I’ll enjoy a re-watch of. It’s just that memorable.
Content Note: There’s some minor innuendo, and perhaps a profanity or two. Forever My Girl is rated PG-13.
Where to Watch: You can rent or buy Forever My Girl on Amazon Video, Vudu or iTunes. It’s also available on DVD.
Have you seen Forever My Girl? What are your thoughts on this contemporary romance?
Photos: LD Entertainment / Lionsgate
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