Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.
Forever My Girl is a 2018 American romantic drama film written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf based on the original novel by Heidi McLaughlin. It follows a country musician (Alex Roe) who sets out to win over the girl he left at the altar eight years before (Jessica Rothe). Abby Ryder Fortson, Travis Tritt, and John Benjamin Hickey also star.
The film opened on January 19, 2018 and grossed $4.7 million from 1,115 theaters in its opening weekend, finishing 10th. It held well in its second weekend, dropping just 12% to $3.7 million. It received negative reviews from critics, who denounced the characters and chemistry between the actors and compared it negatively to Nicholas Sparks films, however audience reception was much more positive.
McLaughlin said that writing the characters of Roe and Rothe was easy, because she has some friends who are bands, so she copied a lot of what they do when they are working and when they are at home, because when they are working, they like their music , their performances and the crowd, but at home they are calm, relaxed and off guard.
About the Story
The movie opens outside a small community church in Saint Augustine, Louisiana. A woman is urging the guests to go inside the church because the wedding is about to start. A couple of people make comments to her about hearing Liam singing on the radio. The woman agrees that it’s wonderful, but right now they are going to see him marry her daughter. The bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), is inside, getting ready with her bridesmaids.
Four older Southern ladies watch the activity from a couch, enjoying the excitement. Josie’s brother enters the room and asks her if she’s ready for him to walk her down the aisle. A few minutes later two groomsmen come in and, after telling Josie she looks beautiful, one of them, Mason asks to speak to the maid of honor in the hall. As they whisper outside the room, Josie is sure something is wrong but everyone assures her it’s all fine. Then her friend returns and tells her that Liam is not coming.
Cut to eight years later, an aerial view of a stadium in New Orleans, the marquee reads “Liam Page Tour.” Liam (Alex Roe) is on stage, finishing up a concert packed with adoring fans. After the last song, he walks off stage and makes a comment to his manager Sam that he wants a girl from the front row. Sam says they’re already on it, but first Liam needs to get to the after party and meet with some label reps. Liam tells him he isn’t going, and to send the girl and a gallon of vodka up to his room.
The next morning Liam wakes up, and the girl is standing in his hotel room, singing one of his songs. She gets so excited to see him awake; she steps on his phone that is lying on the floor. Liam freaks out, jumps out of bed, pulls on some clothes and runs barefoot out of the hotel room with phone in hand. Downstairs at the concierge desk, fans take pictures as he asks where the closest phone store is. After receiving directions, he runs down the street, barefooted, to the store. Fans are taking videos and pictures and chasing him.
When he gets to the store, he announces that he will give $10,000 to the person who can fix his phone. Several starstruck employees surround him before the store manager comes out and takes Liam into his office. The manager fixes his phone, commenting that it’s a classic. The old-style flip phone is being held together with duct tape. When he hands the phone back to Liam, he says there must be some very important messages on there for Liam to want it fixed so badly. Liam says, “just one.” Left alone in the office, Liam accesses the saved message – from Josie.
When Liam returns to the hotel, Sam is waiting – furious that Liam took off and videos of him running down the street in his bare feet are being played all over the TV and internet. Liam lies down on the couch and tells Sam to get him an espresso. Then he notices a news story on the TV. Mason, his groomsman from the opening scene, has been killed in a car accident. Liam just stares at the TV in disbelief.
Later, Sam is trying to get Liam to the airport so they can get to the final concert of the tour. While alone in the car, Liam tells the driver he’ll pay him $1,000 to get him out of there. They peel out of the parking garage.
Liam returns to St. Augustine and attends Mason’s funeral. Although Liam attempts to be discreet, Josie recognizes him. After Mason’s burial, Josie approaches Liam and punches him in the stomach. Liam stays with his father, St. Augustine’s preacher, although his father is bitter than Liam never kept in contact after becoming famous. While becoming reacquainted with the town, Liam encounters Josie at a flower shop she owns.
Liam learns that Josie has a seven-year old daughter, Billie, and that he is the father. Josie confesses that she found out she was pregnant two weeks after he left her at the altar. Although Josie tried to contact him, Liam never returned her call. Liam eventually persuades Josie to let him spend time with Billie, albeit on Josie’s terms. Billie quickly realizes Liam is her father, much to Josie’s surprise, and supports Liam’s idea.
Liam and Billie bond, with Billie displaying her father’s musical ability. Josie even agrees to let Billie stay the night with Liam. As Liam tucks her in, Billie asks him why he left Josie, and Liam admits he was young and confused, although he regrets his decision. After Billie falls asleep, Josie asks Liam on a date.
We see Josie getting dressed in a very fancy dress, Billie helping her with her lipstick. A stretch limo pulls up to take Josie to Liam. The driver tells her that Mr. Page wants it to be a surprise. He takes her to a field where Liam is waiting with a helicopter. They fly to New Orleans and are mobbed by press and fans. One reporter asks Liam who the beautiful woman is and he replies “She’s the one.” They have a romantic night and kiss on the dance floor.
One afternoon they are having a get together with friends, and Liam & Billie are pretending to be lions, tearing into the “bloody meat” (hot dogs with ketchup). Josie’s brother arrives and realizes that Billie is choking. He rushes over to help while Liam stands back, frozen. As Jake tries to perform the Heimlich on Billie, with Josie frantically telling Billie to hang on, Liam is still frozen. He is remembering walking into the hospital as nurses try to revive his mother. They try to get him to leave the room, but he stands there, in shock, as he realizes his mother is dying. Jake is finally able to get the food out of Billie’s throat, and she’s fine, but Jake is mad at Liam for not doing anything.
Next, we see Liam getting drunk in a bar, upset that he stood by while Billie almost died. Jake comes in and says he figured that’s where he’d find Liam. He tells Liam that he’s not fooled by him the way everyone else is and that Josie & Billie would both be better off without him.
Forever My Girl (2018)
Directed by: Bethany Ashton Wolf
Starring: Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, John Benjamin Hickey, Abby Ryder Fortson, Tyler Riggs, Peter Cambor, Gillian Vigman, Lauren Gros, Arielle Bowden, Bella Lotz, Jason Davis, Cody Alan, Tamara Hetzel
Screenplay by: Bethany Ashton Wolf
Production Design by: John Collins
Cinematography by: Duane Manwiller
Costume Design by: Eulyn Colette Hufkie
Music by: Brett Boyett
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements including drinking, and for language.
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions
Release Date: January 19, 2018