There’s something about the south that brings out the wholesome charm in a love story. Forever My Girl is your run-of-the-mil Nicholas Sparks-esque story of good ole’ country lovin’. Clearly designed for those who enjoy a feel good romance, this movie directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf contains everything casual movie goers love and hate about the genre.
After the death of a childhood friend, country music star Liam Page (Alex Roe) returns to the Louisiana hometown he left to chase his dreams. Waiting for him after a decade of no communication is his Pastor father (John Benjamin Haley) and Josie (Jessica Rothe), the woman he left at the altar. Liam still loves her and wants to rekindle their romance, but to win her back he’ll have to first win over the daughter he never knew (Abby Ryder Fortson).
For a romance to work, both characters have to be likable. Neither is. Josie is a sweet and wholesome woman, but it’s hard to pull for someone who comes off so desperate. Page essentially woos her by buying her things and charming her impressionable daughter. And even after he inevitably screws up again, she is still willing to give him another chance.
There is absolutely nothing to like about the Liam Page character other than his smooth singing voice. The character is an absolute man child who is lazy, irresponsible, and selfish. He is given more chances than any real person in the same situation should be given. It doesn’t help that the movie begins by establishing him as a person willing to leave his fiancée on their wedding day without even saying goodbye. He even neglects to return her phone calls for a decade!
Some good laughs and a strong performance from child actor Abby Ryder Fortson gives the movie some necessary charm. But it doesn’t change the fact that this relationship is one that will make any person with realistic notions of romance cringe.
FINAL GRADE: D