I would venture to say that when the seven year old girl has a greater acting range than anyone else in the movie, you have some trouble brewing.
Little Abby Ryder Fortson (who plays Cassie Lang in the Ant Man film and its upcoming sequel) is easily the best, most entertaining part of this film. She delivers her lines with enthusiasm and gusto, leaving the rest of the cast in her diminutive wake.
Josie (Jessica Rothe, who I thought was considerably better in Happy Death Day) prepared for her wedding to Liam Page (Alex Roe). Problem was… Liam had just written and recorded a country song that was hitting it big and he decided to leave Josie at the altar. Instead, he took off for the bright lights of music city. He never looked back.
That is, until he hears that his high school best friend had been killed in an accident. This brings Liam, full fledged country music star, back to his hometown where he discovered that Josie was the mother of a 7 year old girl, Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson). By the way, Liam left her eight years ago. Surprise! Liam is a daddy.
I swear, Alex Roe had one expression for every scene in the movie. He was about as cardboard as you could possibly get. Every moment felt like the same moment because he appeared unable to react to it like a natural human. That might be harsh, but I just felt that there needed to be way more emoting going on from a lead character.
There was little to no chemistry between Roe and Rothe, despite the fact that they were meant to be this forever couple that would overcome anything to be together. I never got that. Honestly, I never got a reasonable answer to the question of why Liam left her at the altar to begin with. I don’t know why I am supposed to cheer for this pairing to reunite when Liam only seems to be a giant douche. Why would Josie accept this jerk back? He basically left her because he was going to be successful in music and didn’t want to be tied down to her. He then spends the next seven or eight years doing drugs, getting drunk and whoring around. Who knows how many children he actually does have?
We are supposed to believe that he really loves Josie because he kept his old flip cell phone from high school and listened to a message she left on it every day. Sounds more stalker-like than charming.
The only bit of charisma given to us from Liam is when he is with young Billy. She does do a decent job of being entertaining with whomever she shares screen time with, which is an impressive feat for someone so small. And her song at the movie’s end is charming. Having said that, no parent in their right mind would allow her to do what she did at the end of the movie.
This is not a Nicholas Sparks movie, but it sure felt like one. The nonsensical romantic film between two beautiful yet deeply shallow people with a story that you can see coming for miles and miles falls right into that genre of films. Of course, that means that there would be an audience for this type of movie, but I am certainly not it.