LiLo's Unlucky in Love

LiLo's Unlucky in Love

Like many Americans of European-mutt descent, I'm enamored with Ireland. While I'm peripherally aware that it is a high functioning nation with a robust tech sector, there is a part of me that continues to believe that Ireland is ruled by a fairy king and everyone who lives there is a poet-farmer descended from leprechauns who subsists on Guinness, potatoes, and British tears. My husband and I visited in 2021, and the week we spent there did nothing to dispel this fantasy. Everyone we met was incredibly friendly, every stone was infused with history, and it was exactly as green as expected. Take a look at this terrible picture I took out of a bus window because I was so thrilled by the reality of cows and hedgerows:

I would love to go back to Ireland, and I have a weakness for stories set there. I blame Nora Roberts. So when I saw that Lindsay Lohan, my favorite erstwhile child star, had a new Irish-themed movie coming out on Netflix, I was pretty jazzed about it. I got together with my bad movie posse to watch the one that came out in 2022, Falling for Christmas, and I knew we'd have to reconvene for this important, seminal film: Irish Wish.

Maddie Kelly (Lohan) is a book editor whose most recent project with Paul Kennedy (Alexander Vlahos) is so popular that there's a Hollywood-style premier for the book. Like, there's paparazzi and a photo call, which I'm fairly certain has never happened in the history of publishing. Anyway, Maddie has developed romantic feelings for Paul that make her overlook the fact that she mostly wrote his new hit novel. She's planning to tell him about her feelings, but when Paul meets her friend Emma (Elizabeth Tan), they hit it off immediately. Cut to a year later, when the whole gang is arriving in Ireland for Paul and Emma's wedding. Maddie is still mooning over Paul, so when an odd woman tells her to make a wish, she wishes she was marrying Paul instead. Suddenly, she finds herself the bride instead of the bridesmaid, but it doesn't take long for her to realize that what she wished for isn't actually what she needs.

What's better than one handsome man with an Irish accent? How about two? Although, the accents were top on the list of things that don't make sense about this movie. Early on, LiLo meets James (Ed Speelers), a photographer with whom she feels an immediate connection, and he's, I guess, British? Even though he seemingly lives in Ireland and is best friends with multiple pub owners? Also, LiLo's friend Emma says "We've known each other since we were kids," and she has a British accent too, which is confusing because LiLo's mother very explicitly lives in Des Moines, Iowa? Also, time zones are seemingly inapplicable to the characters in this film. In the first scene, LiLo is talking to her mother (Jane Seymour) and it's, like, at latest, 2pm in Iowa, but it is full night in New York City. Finally, the odd woman who turns out to be St. Brigid (Dawn Bradfield) inexplicably wears what appears to be multiple Indian kurtas with matching headscarves made out of Lily Pulitzer fabric. This woman is a magical being capable of granting wishes and interfering with real-world events, and I do not understand why she would choose that outfit for herself. I also don't understand why LiLo would turn down the chance to wear this lovely wedding dress:

I'm talking smack, but IMO talking smack is the best part of watching a movie like this. It appears that they actually filmed a good chunk of it in Ireland, and the eye-candy was suitably charming and lush. Most of the movie takes place on Paul's family estate, which is Edwardian enough to please any Austen fan. The romance between Maddie and James is sweet and well-paced, and Maddie's insecurities and yearnings are relatable. For all my complaints about St. Brigid's costuming, Lohan looks great in a series of cute plaid dresses that I honestly want for myself. Everything happens in the way that you think it will happen, but it was still satisfying to see Maddie figure out that she needed to take control of her own life. I liked it, and I think you will too!

Also, here's a picture of me and my husband in the same location they visit in the film (The Cliffs of Mohr) on a significantly less clear day than they enjoyed on the film: