Forever My Girl Review – A Feel Good Film of Love Lost and Rekindled

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Forever My Girl, from LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, presents the story of lasting love through heartache, denial, impossibility, after hope is gone and life has gone on, then lightening and there is only the present.

Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, Forever My Girl stars Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, John Benjamin Hickey, Abby Ryder Fortson, Tyler Riggs, Peter Cambor, Morgan Alexandria, Lauren Gros, Gillian Vigman and Travis Tritt.

Forever my Girl opens in Saint Augustine, Louisiana, at the community church where Josie, played by Jessica Rothe, is getting married. Her bridesmaids, Laura, played by Lauren Gros, and Kiera, played by Morgan Alexandria, are attending to her. The groomsmen Mason, played by Terayle Hill and Johnny, played by James Rackley, show up and then we find out Liam, played by Alex Roe, the groom, whom we heard everyone talking about with his new single on the radio, is not coming. He left his high school sweetheart at the altar.


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Flash to a sold out New Orleans Super-dome rock concert where Liam Page has become the hottest ticket in Country Music, eight years have gone by since ambition and fame called him by name and without a look in the rear view he grabbed a hold.

His manager, Sam, played by Peter Cambor, is waiting off stage, with booze, blondes, and the next show lined up. Waking up to the off key singing of another nameless groupie, her celebrity awestruck exuberance has her jumping ecstatically on his decade old, duct taped together, cell phone.

Suddenly he is bolting from the hotel room, cell phone in hand, running barefoot down the street, with crowds following, crowds gathering filming his every move. He gets the phone repaired and pauses to listen to the message, the same one he has listened to everyday for the last eight years.

After the run through the streets his erratic behavior is being broadcast and his manager of course is having meltdown. Finally with artist in tow, the two are headed to the next show.

Waiting in the office, the television flashes a horrific scene in which a young man was killed by a drunk driver. Through the hangover and blur of the road Liam hears his groomsman's name. Waiting in the car, the radio replays the accident news and Liam offers the driver $1000 to take him to his hometown.

Soon he is sitting on the steps of the local church, the same one where eight years earlier he left his high school sweetheart at the altar, listening to the Pastor Brian, played by John Benjamin Hickey, begin his eulogy, when he gets up to leave. At the same time the last of the mourners, his ex-fiancée, Josie and her daughter are rushing into the church.

The moment is cut short as the service is set to begin. Liam, who also attends the graveside service, is not quite sure how Josie will respond as she walks toward him, smiling, and without warning, thought or concern she knocks him to the ground.

And this is where Forever My Girl shifts and the star maker machine slows and Liam gets a dose of reality from the 'we knew you when' folks.

Forever My Girl has all the elements that bring a freshness to what some would consider a anticipated and likely storyline.

As Shakespeare said, in a Midsummer Night's Dream, The course of true love never did run smooth." Which, of course, translates to true love will always have difficulties.

And our two main characters, Josie and Liam, show even when one believes it is the right moment, diversion, ambition, dreams, show up and then comes the choice.

As the premise of the story involves the Southern Rock stardom of Liam Page, Forever My Girl includes a solid soundtrack that also includes songs performed by Alex Roe, the lead actor and Travis Tritt.


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Roe, who is British and has no singing in his background, worked with the Bethany Ashton Wolff, the director, who "wanted him to experience that world first hand. He had never been to Nashville, she said. It was really important for him to have the time to go from a guy who's naturally talented to someone who can command a stage while performing in front of 20,000 people."

With the majority of the cast up and coming talent, Forever My Girl had an authenticity to it. The story line was plausible, especially when the details are revealed. The talent played it with truthfulness, incorporating the randomness of life, and the pull of the unknown into the characters. The scene stealing questioning of a child who dare go where no adult would risk.

Forever My Girl is more than a romantic chick film. With genuine across the board appeal fans will be drawn in by the story of love lost and rekindled, of family, and community. The gilded gold of stardom, which is played with more than a twinge of truth, takes a different course once he quits running from the past.

A feel good film, Forever My Girl opens January 19, 2018. See it.

 

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