If Adrian Lyne directed a racy Lifetime movie, then asked Danielle Steel what to call it, you'd pretty much have "Never Forever," a sudsy chamber piece that's engrossing despite its many plot holes and contrivances. The film's chief calling card is star Vera Farmiga ("Down to the Bone," "Breaking and Entering"). Her Sophie Lee is a buttoned-up suburban housewife whose inability to conceive with her sterile, Korean American lawyer husband, Andrew (David L. McInnis), drives her to commit a daring act of self-sacrifice. It's a quietly effective portrayal that uniquely balances restraint and abandon -- often at the same moment.
But it's Sophie's shame at hiring a job-juggling, Korean immigrant named Jihah (Jung-woo Ha) to secretly father the child Andrew can't -- and thereby save both her marriage and her depressed husband's life -- that truly informs Farmiga's work here. She makes the humiliation Sophie feels during her business-only liaisons with Jihah in his Lower Manhattan hovel so achingly tangible all that's missing is the scarlet "A."
Writer-director Gina Kim eventually throws in an unexpected twist that adds welcome energy to this low-key melodrama and almost makes you believe Sophie's choice is worth the journey.
—Gary Goldstein (July 20, 2008)