I like what people often refer to as “Chick Flicks”. Yes, those corny falling-in-love type of movies that tend to make one get all weepy and xpsmotional when watching them and “Forever My Girl” is one of those that I saw recently in the theater that was not only heartfelt, but also struck a few chords.
Initially taking place in a very small town in Louisiana named St. Augustine, the film begins with a young woman named Josie (Jessica Rothe) getting stood up at her own wedding by the love of her life, a man named Liam Page (Alex Roe), someone who just recently has come into musical fame in the country circuit. The film quickly moves on after that to 8 years later where Liam has gained worldwide stardom with his music. But it’s apparent he’s extremely unhappy even in light of that with all the alcohol he consumes on a daily basis. It’s also apparent Liam is living with regret and shame about leaving Josie at the altar all those years later when his ratty flip phone containing a message from Josie gets crushed under a fangirl’s foot in his hotel room. As he desperately seeks to get that phone fixed, he notices a news report covering the tragic death of his closest friend from high school, the one who was supposed to be his best man and the one who let Josie know he wasn’t going to be showing up for their wedding. Liam starts to suffer from a total mental breakdown because of all this and decides to leave his national tour in the lurch on the eve of its final performance by heading home to attend the funeral. Once there, as soon as Josie sets eyes upon him, along with the rest of the town, it’s obvious his presence is unwelcomed. But that’s all about to change once Liam discovers Josie has been holding onto a huge secret over the past 8 years.
I know the plot of this movie might sound like it belongs on some silly Hallmark channel evening special and maybe indeed it could very easily show up in some similar fashion there as well. Yet, this movie still touched me nonetheless more so than many of the other “Chick Flicks” I’ve seen, mostly because of the life Liam was living. Filled with money and fame, Liam was a guy who had totally lost his way, having grown up too fast from his sudden musical fame. Money, drugs, booze, and sex had become his way to cope with everything and boy, do I know that pattern well.
While I may have not gained any type of fame thus far in life, I did come into money quite early on, as well as drugs, booze, and sex. And because of it, I always thought I was above everyone else. And like Liam, I constantly expected everyone else to do everything for me. I really had to chuckle at one point in the film where Liam pretty much snapped his fingers and told his manager to get him an espresso. This selfishness and self-centeredness that Liam demonstrated was a great reminder to a life I once lived. Mercifully, money, drugs, booze, and sex don’t rule my life anymore. Instead, I have something far more valuable in place of it, that being an unconditionally loving heart for my friends and loved ones. To me that’s way more priceless than any of the things Liam or myself ever coveted in life.
That’s why I thoroughly enjoyed watching “Forever My Girl”, not only because it was a heartfelt “Chick Flick”, but also because of these few chords it struck within me. Each were great reminders of a life I never want to go back to. One where I was far more consumed with self, instead of what’s truly important in life, that being the unconditional love for others, something that thankfully, both Liam and I finally realized in the end.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson