Forever My Girl (2018) review by Jonathan Berk
I’m not going to write a full review of this film. Forever My Girl (2018) very much feels like a TV movie. The relationship depicted on the posters isn’t one that I think should be romanticized in today’s world anymore. A woman, Josie (Jessica Rothe), who basically waits for eight years for her ex-fiancé to come to his senses. He doesn’t have to do much to earn her love or the forgiveness of his hometown, simply because the pastor reminds the people of the city about forgiveness. Of course, the pastor is his father, making the way everyone is so quick to accept him back despite the “everyone having each other’s back” mindset.
Forever My Girl found a way to make me not hate it
Yet, what worked for me in this film was the father and daughter relationship. Liam Page (Alex Roe) finds out that the girl he left on their wedding day had a child she named after his deceased mother. Billie (Abby Ryder Forston) is absolutely charming. Her character is written to be one of those too-grown-up-for-their-own-good kids who is cute as a button, but neurotically afraid of things most kids can’t wait to get their hands into. While much of her dialogue feels written, her delivery and presence work to make you fall for her, much like Liam does. It’s this relationship that makes the movie endearing, despite the predictable script and Hallmark sentiment.
The other aspect, and perhaps the most surprising, is that I enjoyed the music. I’m not a fan of country music at all, but the songs in this film worked. It’s very consistent with me and my past that if the movie features a musician, I’m probably going to give it more of a pass than I would if it were something else. The troubled artist who can’t get over the troubles of his past…sure, it’s cliché, but it’s one that I embrace. Another refreshing break from a music movie cliché was Liam’s manager, Sam (Peter Cambor). In many movies about musicians, the manager is the devil on their shoulder, often encouraging or enabling the bad behaviors of the talent. Here, Sam seems fed up with the immaturity of Liam, but handles it as best as he is able to. His role late in the film was refreshing, though it does play a bit into the Hallmark sentiment mentioned earlier.
Well, as it turns out I wrote more of a full review than I initially planned. I didn’t think I had that much to say about this film, but once I started writing, the thoughts just came. It’s not a film I think is vital to viewing, but it is one I can see clicking with the right audience. I’m definitely not the demographic, but as an aging father and former musician, it was hard not to find a connection to it. Forever my Girl earns the Not a Total Waste of Time rating.