Plot: As his country music career is starting to build traction, Liam (Alex Roe) was about to take another big step in his life and marry his sweetheart Josie (Jessica Rothe), in what should have been a magical day in their lives. The day would be etched into the memories of those involved, but not for the reasons you’d expect, as Liam choose to leave Josie alone at the altar. In the years since, Liam’s career continued to blow up and now he is at the top of the country music world, but he is still stuck in the old days in some ways, like how he keeps an old voice mail, despite having to maintain an old, broken down phone to do so. When an old friend passes on, Liam decides to return home to pay his respects and discovers that Josie is still there as well, but she isn’t alone and Liam is in for some unexpected experiences.
Entertainment Value: This one is lame, even by the most generous of romance movie standards, a half hearted attempt to mimic Nicholas Sparks that has no passion and no presence whatsoever. The narrative is predictable from the first scene, but that is true of most movies of this kind, so it is the weak and often groan inducing writing that sinks this one, not the formulaic approach taken. There’s nothing wrong with a feel good movie that telegraphs every scene well in advance, but at least pen some interesting dialogue or worthwhile characters. Forever My Girl is content to drag on with neither, just one cliche after another that almost feels like a satire, but this is a sincere effort to capture romance, it just fails hard. All of the flaws could have been overlooked if the romance had passion however, as great chemistry can compensate for a lot, but that doesn’t happen here. The leads show no believable passion or chemistry, just going through the motions and little else. At the same time, as bad as the movie is, it never veers into camp or over the top elements, so even for those who cherish terrible movies, it won’t be of interest. I found this to be a lame, chore of a movie and even for diehard romance fans, this is a hard sell.
I was interested in Forever My Girl because of Jessica Rothe’s involvement, as she has shown immense charisma and presence in some of her other roles. But here she shows none of the qualities that made her earlier roles so worthwhile, perhaps due to how weak the material was or her disinterest in the role. She isn’t bad here, but she there’s nothing memorable or remarkable about her work in this one, she just more or less rattles off her lines. No charm, no charisma, just a basic performance that seems like a waste of her talents. While her effort is mediocre, she is downright award worthy when compared to Alex Roe, who is a charisma black hole here. He is so bland in this role and does little to stand out or make you want to root for him, so a forgettable lead doesn’t help Forever My Girl’s fate. The two make a dull, lifeless romance that shows no passion or connection, so just a flat experience in all respects. The cast also includes Travis Tritt, Gillian Vigman, and Abby Ryder Fortson.