“[Movies like Falling Inn Love] are good water-cooler conversation,” she says. “They bring about these good conversations that just randomly happen and trickle out to other people. The word-of-mouth of it all makes you feel kind of cool. Like, ‘I knew about this before,’ or ‘I’m in the same conversation because I watched it too.'”
And if people do watch, they’ll find the movie subverts stereotypes despite being an unapologetic rom-com. Gabriela is a particularly refreshing character; instead of retreating or recoiling after her life in San Francisco implodes, she travels to the other side of the world. That side of the character really resonated with Milian when she read the script.
“In most rom-coms, it’s sometimes a girl who’s going back home to her old life; in this situation she’s not going to anything she’s ever known,” the actor says. “She’s going completely into the unknown.”
“Gabriela is a risk taker,” she continues. “She didn’t let anything bring her down, and from the beginning of the script, she was a go-getter. She’s self-sufficient. She’s realizing some of her dreams and how maybe everything is not landing where she’d like it to be. Sometimes, I think, life is about having these evolutions where you’re like, ‘No, I’m not okay with being stagnant and being in one place.'”
At its core, Falling Inn Love isn’t meant to be taken seriously. From the far-fetched premise to Jake’s laughably palpable sex appeal—I found myself screaming, “Just take your shirt off!” several times—it has the DNA of your favorite Hallmark Christmas movie. Milian agrees, noting the only difference, really, is the season. Exhibit A: Jake and Gabriela cuddle and flirt over cold beers in this movie, not hot chocolate.
“I don’t know if there’s anything unlikable about rom-coms,” Milian says. “Keep showing the muscles on the guys. Give me more muscles. Give me more bickering. Give me more hot chocolate. I love it all. There’s nothing I wouldn’t take away from any romantic comedy.”
That said, Milian does want viewers take a lot away from Falling Inn Love. Nothing serious, of course, but she would like it to become a staple in people’s rom-com rituals. “I hope they like it enough they want to watch it over and over again,” she says. “I love making movies that become family traditions or something people go back to. I hope Falling Inn Love is that type of film.”