Blending together 11 of Pulitzer prize-winning CK Williams’ poems, Forever Love journeys through several decades of his American life. From his childhood through to marriage and having a child. Including a look at the first ever reading of TAR, the story tells how he struggled to write new poems whilst being haunted of memories of the past, but yet found his calling as a poet thanks to the women in his life.
Films based on other artistic journeys men have made has crafted some interesting viewing over the years. Sadly that is not the case here; if you are unfamiliar with Williams’ work then this movie will offer no introductory method instead casting us head first into his world.
The film plods along at an achingly-dull pace offering very little of interest as it flip flops between past and present. Clearly wanting to be on the edges of mainstream and art house, yet seemingly missing both areas and ending up more entrenched in a side genre that offers nothing special to the viewer.
Portraying Williams’ as the sympathetic human that needs female love to help him move on in life is how the majority of the movie plays out. There is no love towards the main characters as they are all so one dimensional that we never connected with any and instead felt like they were somewhat alien to us. The film just dries up pretty quickly, and even with the short run time, it still feels like we had been watching it for about three hours.
The star power is out in full force – James Franco, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, Henry Hopper, Bruce Campbell – but that still didn’t make the film a pleasurable watch. Franco is clearly in love with Williams work, but at some point he should have realised it isn’t working on-screen. The rest of them go through the motions, and some having very little screen time at all. It’s a shame to see such great actors be wasted in every single role.
We struggle to recommend this film to anyone bar die-hard fans of CK Williams work. Even then, they might find it a tiresome watch. It’s a film that wants to be art house when in fact it is nothing more than a vanity project for someone.