A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes the idea of redemption, second chances, not giving up on the people you love, remembering where you come from, and committing to your family. It also shows that fame and fortune aren't as important as relationships. Humility is a theme, as Liam has to learn to put others first.
Positive Role Models
Liam has a lot of flaws but ultimately redeems himself, proving he's interested in being a present father and supportive husband -- and a musician who puts his family first. Josie is forgiving, loving, and kind. She's also a protective mother. Liam's father is an understanding and empathetic pastor, father, and grandfather. The cast isn't notably diverse.
Violence & Scariness
In one scene, young Billy nearly chokes and requires several moments of life-saving maneuvers. An upsetting flashback shows a young boy traumatized by watching medical personnel work on his very ill mother in the hospital. Some arguing, yelling, personal conflict. News report tells of a man's death in a car accident; his funeral and grieving widow are shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Liam wakes up after a one-night stand to find a young woman wearing nothing but his concert T-shirt; it's obvious they slept together, but it all happens off camera. Other than that, there's flirting and a couple of passionate kisses.
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"Crap," "hell," "oh my God." Insult language along the lines of "freaking," "idiot," "stupid," and "big fat idiot."
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Products & Purchases
Nokia, W Hotel, Mustang, Chevy Tahoe.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Liam drinks a lot, sometimes to excess (even to the point of basically passing out) and usually by himself. Adults drink vodka, beer, wine at bars, dinners, dates, barbecues, etc. Vague references to former drug use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Forever My Girl is a romantic drama about a hugely famous country singer named Liam (Alex Roe) who returns to his hometown after eight years and tries to re-woo Josie (Jessica Rothe), the high school sweetheart he left at the altar. Based on the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the movie is more faith-based than the book and, unlike its source material, doesn't have any overt love scenes. There is one scene where Liam wakes up after an implied one-night stand to find a young woman wearing nothing but his concert T-shirt, but what happened between them is never shown. Plus, characters kiss, and Billy is clear evidence that Liam and Josie's teen relationship was a sexually active one. Language includes words like "crap," "hell," "freaking" and "idiot," and Liam drinks quite a bit (sometimes to the verge of passing out), and there are vague references to former drug use. Characters' arguments could bother sensitive kids, and an upsetting flashback shows a young boy traumatized by watching medical personnel work on his very ill mother in the hospital. But the movie offers many positive messages, particularly about redemption, humility, second chances, and unconditional love. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sweet faith-based romance -- which is even more teen-friendly than the Heidi McLaughlin novel on which it's based -- benefits from charming performances and a notable country soundtrack. Unlike many romances that follow the drama of falling in love, Forever My Girl is a story of a second chance between two people who never fully fell out of love. Liam and Josie have a lot of emotional baggage to sort out and a child to put first, but it's clear from the first time they see each other that they're bound to reunite -- wedding day abandonment and international country music careers all but forgotten. The stakes never feel that high, but it's pleasant enough to see the characters arrive at their happily ever after ... in the same way that Hallmark Christmas romances or Lifetime movies are predictable and safe but still satisfying.
An unexpected difference from the original book (which was the first in a series) is that the filmmakers have injected a healthy dose of faith-based content and themes into the story -- to the point that viewers unfamiliar with the book might assume it's Christian fiction. The original material isn't spiritual (Liam's father's isn't a pastor, the church isn't a central meeting point for the town, etc.), but the faith-based aspects actually work here. What we end up with is a romance, a father-daughter love story (even though it's pretty hard to believe that Liam never heard about Billy, even from his own dad), and a prodigal son tale. Forever My Girl is one of those rare dramas that's clean enough for older tweens and younger teens and well-made enough for romance-loving parents to enjoy. If you want sizzling and swoon-worthy, watch Outlander, but for a light, message-filled romance, this one's worth checking out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.