Guys. I watch a lot of dumb shit. Like, I really am enjoying Riverdale right now, for example. That show is complete trash and I race home daily to consume it, like a beast that only has an appetite for shows involving teenagers played by 40 year olds. What I am saying is I have a low bar in terms of quality storytelling and general believability when it comes to film and TV. But guys – I may have found the worst romance movie of all time. It’s called Forever My Girl, and it’s so terrible that I fucking loved it.
Here’s the trailer, by the way.
The premise is this.
No actually, I’ll just tell you the whole goddamn movie because you really can’t SPOIL this movie. It is already spoiled by being the worst movie ever with the worst characters. Just read this and then decide if you also want to see this, but with people playing the characters on a screen OK? Which you should because it’s so shitty it’s actually the best. It’s like watching one of those wind-up racing toys run repeatedly into a wall – oddly satisfying.
So Liam Page is an up-and-coming country music star who is set to be married to his childhood sweetheart, Josie. Josie doesn’t have a last name. No, I’m serious. No last name. Apparently not necessary. Anyway, we open with their wedding. Josie is every bit the down-home fried-chicken-and-grits, my-whiskey-and-my-truck country bride, complete with four elderly Southern belles sitting in her dressing room for no goddamn reason and a shitload of other men and women running around the church gardens screeching in faux Southern accents. Guys we’re in the SOUTH, OK? Just in case you didn’t get it? THE SOUTH. The film routinely screams this in your face to ensure you know that yes, these people live in the South.
Specifically, they live in the vomit-enducingly cute town of Saint Augustine, Louisiana. The town church is where this wedding is being held, until two groomsmen – one of whom has weird sexual tension with the bride – come in, give her a hug and then pull a bridesmaid outside to tell her that nope, the groom won’t be showing up after all. Cue Josie’s devastated face (Jessica Rothe, the woman who plays Josie, is actually a surprisingly good actor) and a fade to black.
Now, we’re at a big Liam Page concert 8 years later. He is vvvvvv famous, as showcased by a stadium of screaming fans and how sweaty he is from working his ass off performing, you guys. He lives and breathes the music. He is a v serious musician. We gather through his interactions with his manager and other staff that while Liam is a v serious musician, he is bored of the famous life and yearns for his down-home country roots. You fucken KNOW where this is going, right?
Liam flicks on his TV one morning and goddamn, his best mate – the groomsman who had the weird sexual tension with Josie that clearly wasn’t a plot device at all and was simply a weird unintentional vibe, which concerns me – has died tragically in a car accident. Liam is all “fark better get home and be a good mate” so off he trots back to his hometown, only to be punched in the guts – literally – by Josie. At the funeral. I’d have preferred a punch in the dick but this will do. Ideally she gave him a small hernia.
Oh PS, Josie also has a kid. A very 8-year-old looking kid. YA FEEL?
We get a bit of a “hey son/hey dad” moment between Liam and his father, who is the fucking PASTOR OF THE CHURCH because of course he bloody is. If you’re a talented and attractive person with emotional issues, your father is always the pastor of the local hometown church. Look at Footloose. Anyway then it’s all Liam moping a bit, being all waaah I can’t write songs blah blah who cares, before heading into town to find Josie. Given the town has like a 5 person population, he finds her quickly at the florist. She owns it, which she proudly tells him all “see I did stuff after you left!!!!”. She is not playing the “I’m extremely well-adjusted after healing from your unceremonious dumping” card game very well. In fact she basically screams “I’M FOOOOOINE” in his face while breaking out in hives.
There’s a whole convo about the kid – Josie reveals that yes, it’s Liam’s daughter. We meet this daughter properly by the way, and she’s one of those cute child actors that is also insufferably precocious. You equal parts hate and love this kid, is what I am saying. You want the school bully to push her over, and yet you also want to let her loose in a toy store and let her buy anything she wants on your credit card.
The convo is all very fraught with emotion, but then Josie goes “I guess we’re having this conversation I’ve been planning for 8 years right now, huh. I need a beer then” and she walks over to her FLOWER FRIDGE THING and pulls out a SINGLE BEER. Like girl do you just stock one (1) beer in your fridge? The special flower fridge? Who lives like this?
Also, Josie is like “did you even know my mum died” and Liam is like “no soz” in this very not-devo way. This guy is TRASH, Josie. DELETE.
Meanwhile I forgot to tell you before that Liam’s phone is this shitty flip thing from 1999 that he still keeps, because it has Josie’s voicemail message on it from back when, y’know, he dumped her in front of the entire town and then refused to call her back to find out he had a child. All normal areas. Obviously.
Josie sees the phone and she’s sort of like ooooooooo he still loves me – you can just TELL – and next minute Liam’s coming over for dinner and meeting his kid, Billie. There’s another guy there and for like 80% of the movie I thought he was Josie’s new boyfriend, that was the vibe they had, until my sister told me he was actually her BROTHER. See why I hate/love this movie? How fucked up is that! The brother and Josie have more chemistry than Liam and Josie? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE THIS STUPID DUMB MOVIE.
Anyway blah blah, montage of Liam growing closer to Billie, and in turn Josie.
In a very short space of time Liam and Josie are going on a date – this woman literally forgives the man who left her AT THE ALTAR and then IGNORED HER FOR EIGHT YEARS while she RAISED THEIR CHILD AS A SINGLE MOTHER in like, a week. A week!! Forgiveness is pure and all but also what the fuck? The dude did possibly the worst thing ever save for an actual criminal offence, and you’re like “ok you get a second chance beb”? Josie, GROW A BACKBONE HONEY. Please, you are better than this.
But no, she goes on a date – literally that whole convo is her leaning all over Liam with fuck-me eyes, the woman is not holding back – and for some reason Josie wears a jewel-encrusted ball gown on this date, they fly in a helicopter to New Orleans, and he takes her to some restaurant opening or something – IDK there’s cameras everywhere and he tells them she’s “The One”. It’s so good in a trashy, Fifty Shades way, just this unnecessary level of glitz and expense that no one not-unhinged would do.
Then we’re at a cutesy outdoor picnic thing, and Liam is eating hotdogs with Billie before Billie starts choking. Naturally it’s a tense scene as Josie and her brother/creepy boyfriend try to Heimlich manoeuvre the food out of her throat, which thankfully happens – no thanks to Liam who is having an existential crisis underneath a tree as he remembers watching his mum suffer in hospital. TBF this was actually a pretty emotional scene but also HIIII plot device of fucked up childhood memory we will now use to break this new couple up.
As you would have guessed, Liam then pisses off – leaving a POST IT ON HIS DAD’S COFFEE MACHINE that basically says “PS: pls tell Josie and Billie I can’t do it bye”. Incredible stuff. He goes on tour and is a big sack of sadness, moping around like a bag of soggy rice. After maybe a couple of months or something he has a brain snap and heads back to Saint Augustine, meets up with Josie, and she totally punches him in the dick.
WRONG. SHE FUCKING TAKES HIM BACK AGAIN, WITH LIKE ZERO REPRIMANDING. She literally just asks if he’s 100% in, he says yes (but like has he not said that to you before hun? I think so) and then she goes “well WELCOME HOME” and they kiss.
COME ON BABE.
Let’s recap briefly here. The guy left her at the altar. Didn’t return her pleading phone call, which would have been fucking hard to make after being dumped so terribly. THEN, he leaves her for 8 years in which she raises his child alone, then he came back and she graciously let him into their lives, only for him to piss off unceremoniously again. And we’re all g with that, Josie?
Here is what I would say. I would say hey, you emotionally unavailable mess of a man, how about you prove to me that you’re actually sticking around by spending some regular time with your daughter for a full year, and maybe also by landscaping my entire yard and doing other annoying jobs I don’t want to personally do, and then maybe I will forgive you for abandoning me humiliatingly in front of the entire small town I live in not once, but twice.
Anyway they get back together, Billie and Liam do a duet at Billie’s school talent show (Billie is a HORRIBLE singer and no one seems to be letting her know), and then Liam, Billie and Josie go on tour – where they thrust their poor daughter into the limelight by wheeling her out for said duet in front of stadium crowds who prob cyber-bully her after the show because the kid CAN’T SING.
In short, Forever My Girl is the most infuriating movie of all time and also someone buy me the DVD.