Forever full movie review - Great performances in a story that feels a bit rushed
My overall impression of the film is that it is mainly the very strong acting that kept me interested and emotionally involved.
Deborah Ann Woll is to me absolutely convincing as Alice, right from the beginning of the film. Although we know next to nothing about her and her boyfriend, the shocking opening scenes including Woll's touching breakdown made me feel and identify with her. But I also liked that the first sequences already introduce some of the other characters and their back stories, rather than focusing on Alice alone.
The story that evolves after that to me felt OK but kind of jumpy. Alice's sudden journey and her motives for that are not really explained. Does she consider this a work project or a totally private matter? A mixture of both? To leave this open for interpretation is probably intentional but left me irritated. Same goes for her reasons not to tell who she is when she arrives.
Alice's affair with Charlie starts very sudden and I would have liked to see a bit more development here, especially in Charlie's attitude towards her. It basically changes from spiteful rejection to love within seconds.
The final sequence involving the beds and the fire - although I liked the idea in itself - to me also came quite sudden. Alice's and Charlie's departure felt rushed, too. So, overall, I feel like a bit more time, character development, explanation and/or interaction would have been good for the film.
The being said, I want to state again that Deborah Ann Woll carried this film and made Alice's journey believable. The supporting cast is strong, too. Luke Grimes is a good as Charlie, the aforementioned sudden change of attitude is not his fault. Since I have seen him in "Fringe", I always enjoy watching Seth Gabel who makes you really wonder here how such a sweet, likable guy could have killed a friend - a good example of the evil side that's part of all of us. John Diehl and Jill Larson both are perfect for their roles, too. The others do not get that much to do but it's a great ensemble overall.
Last but not least, both the idyllic summer landscape imagery and the dreamlike music contribute a lot to the coherent atmosphere of the film.
Overall rating: 7/10