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O'Shea Jackson Jr.
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Another weekend, another massive launch of movies and this weekend my reviews start with a little romance to spice up January. I'm talking about Forever My Girl, the movie utilizing Nicholas Sparks name to rope customers in. The trailers make this one to look cute and another generic romance movie, but you never know what will come out of the fancy wood work of Hollywood. Robbie K is back with another review to help you out with selecting your viewing choices. Let's get started!
Cute: The trailers didn't lie at how adorable this movie is. While many will flock to the gritty action films of darkness and bullets, others will enjoy the calmer nature of this film. The film is that same cute mush that romance movies bring, filled with both family morals and promises of true love surviving anything. As down home family life begins to settle on the screen, my audience members oohed and ahhed at all the sympathetic madness the film brought in spades. Yet the cutest thing in this movie is adorable little girl that ties everyone together, and speaking of which...
The Little Girl: Billy is by far a crown jewel of the film, a blend of sweetness and sassiness with great writing to help her stand out from the kid roles of Hallmark Channel. Abby Ryder Fortson was a perfect casting pick for the film, her high pitched voice, cute face, and silly antics a perfect reflection of the adventurous nature 8 years have. She somehow managed to deliver her lines in a manner that was very fun, energetic, and not too annoying, which is difficult to do with a kid role. Fortson gets bonus points for how natural the role felt and not forced upon me.
Not Slow: Romance movies often are slower for me, not only because of lack of action, but more so for how many tangents they go down. Forever my girl was able to avoid treading down these diverging paths decently, easily able to loop back to the main path and get back to the love story at hand. It keeps things moving, gives you the superficial thrills that many crave, and does it all in a nice 100 minute run time. Exactly what the attention span of modern audience members want.
Jessica Rothe: If you read my review of Happy Death Day, you'll know I loved the lead actress Jessica Rothe, and this movie shows her dynamic abilities quite well. Again the woman blew me away with her performance, capable of injecting so many emotions in what was such a simple role. Strength, love, heartbreak, and hope are all components she portrays well in her character and does it in a manner that will appease romantics, while also not sending you into eye rolling territory. While her beauty certainly drwas your eyes to her character, I fell in love with the qualities of this character and more so how she seemed to fit well in the setting of the movie. Plus, she was able to play a sentimental, romantic movie role that didn't want to make me slam my head into the armrest.
Unoriginal: Sadly, the movie starts losing points with how unoriginal the story was. I know, the original tale is essentially dead, but this movie really didn't make any big stretches to be unique. Much of the plot is a carbon copy of Nicholas Sparks and Hallmark, unable to blend them into any special presentation. As a result, the movie is very predictable, with few twists to bring in any suspense or excitement to spice things up.
Too Many Plots To Balance: All the mashing of romantic movies into one piece can sometimes be an incredible thing, but in this film... it didn't work for me. A strong foundation was promised by the trailers, and in truth it had a firm ground to spring off of. However, one soon gets to see all the plots come crashing into a messy pile up of underdeveloped, half-baked moments that only semi-fit. These entangled tangents didn't do much for me, and all these shallow semi-stories left me wanting more. Had they sacrificed some of these plots and added some impasses, this charming story could have been more engaging and won points for more suspense to amp up the love. I think there was just too much to work with, but too some more is better.
Too rushed: This goes back to the balance issue, but surprisingly I think this movie moved a little too fast. I understand things move fast in a movie, but many films are able to create the illusion of time passing by, or at least putting a lot of struggles to develop the character in a short amount of time. Forever my girl though, did not accomplish this task, with things settling too fast to: 1) be believable and 2) be deep enough to maximize the emotional response of the film. In addition, it left little time for the secondary characters to flourish themselves or become super relevant to the plot. It would have been great to expand on these roles, but alas there was just no time.
The Acting: I'm not saying these were the worst performances at all, but there were times where the acting was a bit of a stretch for me. While Fortson and Rothe stayed pretty consistent and at the top of their game, the other characters were not so skilled/fortunate. Many of the country accents seemed a little forced for me, constantly teetering between impressive and phony. A few of the actors really could not get the emotions off the ground, and others tried to force too much stress in their roles that came out at half mast for me. Even the lead Alex Roe struggled to handle all the emotions his character had, sometimes feeling unmotivated to his character Liam. Again, it's not horrible, it just needed more polishing to realy get things together.
Forever My Girl is sweet, angelic, and moral packed tale that these movies are famous for in this Hollywood, cinematic world. A charming cast with a moving plot are the highlights of this movie, and a good filler for those waiting for the steamier stories to come. However, this glorified Hallmark movie suffers from too many plots coming together and an improper balance to handle them. The result was a very rushed movie where characters, acting, and sub-plots all suffered from their inability to decide on the plot. Therefore, this culmination, while entertaining, suffers a lot from this fast paced approach and leave one wanting more out of this film.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.0
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