Forever My Girl – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Forever My Girl – 3/5 – Romance films can hit you were you least expect.  From the ongoing relationship, a film that can spin a tale around deep emotion can create a worthy escape.  If there is a relatable trait for the audience, then the romantic aspect will become fulfilling.  Forever My Girl is a tale that captures the essence of love with familiar elements.  Even with a very shaky beginning, Forever My Girl is a romantic tale that will have you feeling good in the end.

Premise: After 8 years, a Country star returns to his home town.  Encountering his past love, they must find out if they truly are meant to be together.

In the main leads, you have:

Alex Roe as Liam Page

Jessica Rothe as Josie

These two do a good job creating believable characters.  They are your common ‘star cross lover’ archetypes, but they layer this with raw humanistic progression.  This allows for a natural evolution of their characters.  As certain elements are revealed, it creates a friendship that is an honest reflection of romance.  The slow building allows for them to feel real, giving Roe and Rothe an ability to shed truth through their flaws.  This exudes a simple aesthetic of their romantic tension.  Even for some mind cringing dialogue (in the beginning) the purity of their interactions and subtle mannerisms allows the audience to feel, see and watch their relationship grow.  Roe does a good job in creating a country star that is conflicted with his past, while Rothe compliments him as a woman that is steadfast in living strong and true to her family.  This ‘star cross’ aspect helps elevate average characters to a wholesome level.  For the rest of the cast, please refer to the film’s IMDb page.  They are your typical background flavor that fleshes out the world.  You have characters that create conflict but become predictable, cliché elements to the romance tale.  Even with one-dimensional characters, they do enough to add to the overall enjoyment.

The direction takes your basic romance tale and progresses it through down-to-earth elements.  The director uses a ‘conflict’ device to setup the scenarios that lead to the main ‘love story’.  In the prologue, we have a wedding between Liam and Josie that doesn’t happen because Liam runs away.  The hint of the unknown leads to a flash-forward that setups the main characters’ motives.  By a lacking plot development entrapped by a cliché scenario, the characterization is underwhelming.  There conflict is created through forced methods, showing a backlash that is predicated on emotional reactions.  With very simple dialogue, you become confused as to ‘why’ things happen and must accept things at face value.  To create some dynamic, you see subtle hints of emotions through interactions, camera angling and melodrama.  This leads to an ‘unexpected event’ that brings Liam back to his home town.  Once he reencounters Josie, and all the forced exposition and terrible dialogue passes by, the film shifts to the romantic element.  The film slowly evolves into the pure aspect of human behavior.  As certain details of the 8 years are revealed, Josie and Liam are faced with situations that makes them question everything in the past.  With a mixture of family drama, personal conflict and true love themes, it creates a down-to-earth appeal.  Even with melodramatic one-liners and sensualized interactions, there is that grounded approach that shows the true purpose for Josie and Liam.  As his country singer fame crosses paths with her family aspiration, its builds depth to their flaws.  Once the film has the audience gripped by their relationship, it falls back into clichés of dilemmas and self-discovery.  Even if there are points to be made, the obviousness negates the emotional effects that were built up to this point.  Once you get to the climax, the fulfillment of what is important to Liam and Josie helps propel the film into a feel-good ending.  The ending will leave a smile upon your face, allowing you to find some heart.

The visuals are common for a romantic film.  With the backdrop being a small town, you feel as if you are in there.  Even if the visuals are basic, it allows you to see the characters as they are.  The score is a mixture of country songs and overtly force orchestra.  The country songs help add another element to the authentic appeal of the story, but it because obvious ‘why’ or ‘when’ things are supposed to happen.

Forever My Girl is a romantic tale that has strong leads, surround by average appeal.  Even if the film doesn’t hit its stride till the end, Josie and Liam will keep you glued to the screen.  If you’re a fan of romantic films this is for you.  It is worth seeing at the theaters, a good time at matinee price.

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