Forever My Girl

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Forever My Girl Movie Poster Image
Sweet romance is all about family, faith; some drinking.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language

"Crap," "hell," "oh my God." Insult language along the lines of "freaking," "idiot," "stupid," and "big fat idiot."

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKaren T. January 31, 2018

It’s very Lifetime Movie -ish

It’s sweet, typical, predictable, not award winning acting and pretty faith-based without being held back by the faith-based rating. Alex Roe face/voice/eyebro... Continue reading
Adult Written byMarlene R. April 24, 2018

Awesome movie!!

This movie was great! My family loved it!!
Teen, 16 years old Written byBill R February 19, 2018
dont watch this film
Teen, 13 years old Written byphoenixwolf101 April 19, 2018

Really Good!

I just watched this movie and it was so sweet. I absolutely loved it! There was some drinking but it was okay.

What's the story?

FOREVER MY GIRL starts off on the fateful day that 19-year-old Liam Page (Alex Roe) leaves his fiancée/high school sweetheart, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar. Eight years later, Liam is a hard-drinking, commitment-phobic country music superstar who's never returned to his small Louisiana hometown, St. Augustine. Then, when he's in New Orleans for a gig, the local news alerts Liam to the tragic fact that his best friend from high school, now a local politician, has died in a car accident. Liam feels compelled to go back home, where he bumps into his father (John Benjamin Hickey) -- the town preacher -- and, of course, Josie, who now has a young daughter. Abruptly ditching his concert tour, Liam decides to stick around and catch up with his dad (from whom he's been estranged). And he soon discovers that Josie's precocious 7-year-old daughter, Billy (Abby Ryder Forston), is his child. Liam works on getting to know Billy and win back Josie's heart, but Josie's protective older brother, Jake (Tyler Riggs), reminds Liam that not everyone has forgotten or forgiven his abandonment.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Forever My Girl's romance storyline works with its more Christian themes. Do you think the movie, which isn't based on Christian fiction, needed the faith-based elements? Why or why not?

  • Who are the role models in Forever My Girl? What character strengths do they display? How does Liam learn humility?

  • How is drinking portrayed? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?

  • If you've read the book, what do you think of the changes to the story? Do they make the movie more or less appropriate for younger viewers?

Movie details

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