March 19, 2018  (Web Review)

Forever My Girl

Lionsgate, 108 min., PG, DVD: $19.99, Blu-ray: $24.99, Apr. 24

Reviewer rating: 2.0/4

The banality of the lyrics in most country songs is reflected in director Bethany Ashton Wolf’s movie about a self-absorbed country-western superstar forced to confront responsibilities that he has shirked for nearly a decade. The sappy, mawkish romantic comedy-drama centers on Liam Page (Alex Roe), who left his small-town fiancée Josie (Jessica Rothe) literally at the altar in order to seek success as a singer-songwriter, only to return to his childhood home eight years later to find that Josie is the single mother of an adorable daughter (Abby Rider Fortson) who is, of course, just a bit over 7-years-old. That revelation comes as a shock to Liam, who has spent the intervening years becoming a country-western icon, as well as a spoiled, self-indulgent bad-boy. Now, Liam is determined to do the right thing—re-woo Josie and get to know his daughter, who (surprise) possesses hidden musical talent. Roe and Rothe are a handsome couple, easy on the eyes even when reciting insipid dialogue, but Fortson is so precocious that she is closer to insufferable. Studio publicity likens Forever My Girl to the bathetic tearjerkers adapted from Nicholas Sparks’s novels. Unhappily, the comparison is all too apt. Optional, at best. [Note: DVD/Blu-ray extras include a photo gallery. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release are bonus digital and UltraViolet copies of the film. Bottom line: a small extras package for a forgettable film.] (F. Swietek)