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Is Forever My Girl Based On A True Story?

The country music world is known for its many woeful songs about lost love. But the 2018 film "Forever My Girl" provided a stellar twist to that formula by asking, "What if there was a second chance for the heartbroken artist?" The romantic drama centers on country music star Liam (Alex Roe), who leaves his finance Josie (Jessica Rothe) at the altar for a shot at fame and fortune. However, several years later, Liam finds himself back in their hometown and tries to make things right with a justifiably resentful Josie. "Forever My Girl" contains the type of rollercoaster story that would serve as the perfect origin for a concept album, let alone a film. But there's a reason you'll find it under the romance genre on Netflix instead of documentaries.

"Forever My Girl" is based on the fictional novel of the same name by author Heidi McLaughlin. Yet, McLaughlin once admitted that the main characters, Josie and Liam, were inspired by real people. While speaking to Red Carpet Report, McLaughlin said that she used her experience of being a strong and confident single mom as a basis for Josie. Meanwhile, Liam's origins are based on one of McLaughlin's friends. The author told Red Carpet Report, "He's actually a little bit modeled after a friend who's a tortured rockstar, and you know, I just needed to find a way for him to redeem himself." So, while "Forever My Girl" isn't based on a true story, real people loosely inspired Joise and Liam, which follows McLaughlin's goals of making sure her characters are always believable.

Heidi McLaughlin wanted fans to feel like they really knew her characters

In "Forever My Girl," the race for Liam to once again win over Josie's heart doesn't go smoothly. For instance, their first encounter after years apart results in Liam getting punched in the stomach. And if the physical hit wasn't enough of a wallop, then Liam learning about his seven-year-old daughter Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson) certainly provides another hit. The plot of "Forever My Girl" makes for intriguing drama. However, the winding and twisting story also feels like the type of community gossip fodder you'd quickly find within earshot at any small-town gathering.

And that sense of realism is due to Heidi McLaughlin's attempts at making her characters feel familiar to her readers. During an interview with Michael Ventrella, McLaughlin explained that she's always modeled her characters from people she's known in real life in order to achieve a strong sense of believability. "Every character I write, I want the reader to feel like they know them, that they live next door or went to high school with them," McLaughlin told Ventrella.