Star Rating:

Irish Wish

Streaming On: Watch Irish Wish on Netflix

Director: Janeen Damian

Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Alexander Vlahos, Ed Speleers

Release Date: Friday 15th March 2024

Genre(s): Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Running time: 93 minutes

Maddie Kelly (Lindsay Lohan) is a successful book editor who has been paired with Irish author Paul Kennedy (Alexander Vlahos), whom she also has a deep unrequited affection for. However, he ends up with her best friend Emma (Elizabeth Tan) and is about to marry her after a whirlwind romance and sets off to Ireland as the bridesmaid. However, it's not before long that she discovers an ancient wishing chair, and finds that it actually works...

The great film critic Roger Ebert argued that you can't review or critique a movie if it's achieving exactly what it set out, for good or ill. In the case of 'Irish Wish', it's filmmaking as content churn. The algorithm that dictates the entirety of Netflix's commissioning spoke and declared that an Irish-set romantic comedy fantasy with Lindsay Lohan was needed at this moment in time, and so 'Irish Wish' is cranked into existence. It's a cheesy, flimsy, largely inoffensive romantic comedy fantasy that's about as good as you could expect from a movie where every other Irish man seems to either wear a cravat and be constantly draped in tweed. The weather is beautiful, the scenery is bucolic, and the accents are lilting.

The script by Kirsten Hansen, whose previous credits include 'Love on the Slopes', 'Return to Christmas Creek', and 'Christmas On My Mind', checks through just about every cliché you can think of regarding wishes, Ireland, romantic comedies, and supposed fantasies not being as they are. In fac,t there's that many of them you'd be forgiven for thinking Kirsten Hansen is in fact advanced artificial intelligence that's been trained on all of the cheaply made straight-to-streaming romantic comedies that clogs up Netflix, Prime Video, and those weird TV channels that only seem to exist on hotel rooms. The dialogue is as subtle in a fart in a bath-tub, with Lohan somehow comparing the Cliffs of Moher with the works of James Joyce, an author who once wrote about his wife's farts as a language of love. As to directing, Janeen Damian makes efficient use of stock footage by having us believe the Clarence Hotel right next to Zaytoon is a glitzy part of New York or that Jane Seymour, Lindsay Lohan's on-screen mother, is in Iowa and not on a soundstage in Wicklow.

Lindsay Lohan's Lohanaissance has thus far seen her take on gentle romantic comedies such as this, but it's a betrayal of her talents when you think of the unexpected, Nathan Fielder-styled comedy of 'Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club' or starring in 'The Canyons', a sleazy erotic thriller with porn actor James Deen that was scripted by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. None of this is taxing for her, and given how fragile her personal life is, can anyone blame her for taking cheap and easy fluff like this? The wider cast, such as Ed Speleers and Alexander Vlahos, fill out their roles with the kind of gusto you'd expect from actors who are simply there to pad their IMDb and pay their bills.

In the end, 'Irish Wish' isn't bad enough to be funny, or memorable enough to be offensive. Yes, there's groan-inducing, eye-rolling lines and plot developments every five or ten minutes, but again, expecting anything less is setting yourself up to be annoyed. Unless this appeals to you with immediate effect, ignore it and move on with your life.