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Irish Wish advises you to be brave

"Are you calling me a coward?"

By 'Vive AkughaPublished about a month ago 13 min read
Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Lindsay Lohan is Madeline Kelly in 2024's Netflix movie, Irish Wish. She navigates love, friendship, and profession through an Irish appreciation. Her focus on being Paul Kennedy's book editor supports his career and a potential relationship. When an unforeseen wish allows her to live out her fantasy, she must realize and accept what she truly wants.

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Madeline or Maddie is Paul's (Alexander Vlahos)book editor. They reunite to celebrate the launch of his book, Two Irish Hearts. During his interview, he interrupts to include Maddie in it. He takes this moment to appreciate her by recognizing her as a brilliant writer and by saying he would be nowhere without her. He adds that this is their night and that they did this together, however, Maddie's humility is apparent. She belittles her contribution saying that he wrote a great story that she just helped polish up. He asks her to reserve some time for him later to discuss something and Maddie's hope is heightened. She heads into the venue on a phone call with her mum(Jane Seymour)and Paul continues his interview.

On the phone call, her mother asks if Maddie has talked to Paul regarding her feelings. She says she hasn't and she hasn't told her friends either. She expresses her unreadiness but consoles herself saying she has given him many signs to show her interest. She encourages herself saying, "You should see the way he looks at me when we work together." She believes he gets her and believes the upcoming discussion would be her long-awaited opportunity. Her mother says she should confess her feelings to him if the discussion is not about that.

She does not share her concerns with her friends and despite Emma's (Elizabeth Tan) obvious interest, leaves her feelings concealed which unknowingly permits that interest. Paul's characteristics are discussed after the ladies talk about their work relationship. Maddie's been working with him for a year. Heather (Ayesha Curry) acknowledges Maddie's contribution by saying she practically wrote the book and her name should be on the cover. Again, Maddie takes the time to uplift Paul saying she didn't exactly write the book. She highlights her other benefits saying it would be good for her career and that Paul has been praising her to the publisher. Maddie leaves her friends to have her discussion with Paul.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Maddie's emotions continue to turn waiting for Paul's main statement. Again, he thanks her. He says he balances her and she agrees saying they make a great team. However, his hope to continue their teamwork remains within a professional setting as he asks for her assistance with his next book. He acknowledges that he knows she wanted to write her's and says he could help her but she might have to wait a bit. She is disappointed but agrees to assist him.

Feeling dejected, Maddie remains at the bar while he heads to his book-reading event. On his way there he bumps into Emma and Heather. He has a brief conversation with Emma and fixes her eyelash placement. This moment is interrupted by Maddie who urges him to hurry on to the people expecting him. One of her moments of protest as Maddie continuously and selfishly diminished their moments. Fortunately for them, this does not affect their relationship as the time jump to their wedding in Ireland occurs.

Upon arrival in Ireland, Maddie chases what she believes is her luggage, resulting in a misunderstanding with James(Ed Speleers). They fight over it before the content in favour of James is revealed. She apologizes and he defuses the situation saying it was alright. He says this misunderstanding could happen to anyone but he feels this happens to her often. This ties to the unfortunate situation of her scarf caught by the taxi door at the movie's beginning.

She heads to lost luggage to sort out the situation and is joined by Paul. Paul expresses his gratitude to her for introducing him to Emma. The depth of his appreciation is made known as he says she changed his life. This applies to his soaring position as a best-selling author in the U.K. and to the discovery of his bride. Maddie says she would join them later but he and the ladies should head to his home. He leaves and she heads to his home with no luggage. The bus allows the reunion of her and James.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

They carry on to discuss and bicker on the way to her destination. His disinterest in Paul and his book led to her defence. She finds out that he's a photographer and he finds out she's Paul's editor and friend. Paul's family wealth is acknowledged when she reunites with everyone at the manor. She is introduced to Paul's mother(Jacinta Mulcahy), father (Maurice Byrne) and brother, Kory (Matty McCabe). Maddie is burdened by another unfortunate situation but the vase is saved before destruction.

She discusses with the Kennedy family and her friends about her luggage situation. Paul's mother makes the reason for her worry known stating that Maddie could imbalance the wedding arrangement if her bridesmaid dress is lost. This leads to Kory's joke about her standing to the side to be in a sort of cheering section and they laugh.

Maddie is in Ireland for Paul's wedding to Emma and James is in Ireland to cover the upcoming sheep shearing festival. Through his discussion with Murphy(Tim Landers), we realize that James is uninterested in settling down with anyone. Maddie joins Paul, Emma, Heather and Kory on a picnic but their decision to go on a boat ride leaves no room for her. Heather's continuous interest in Kory leaves the two coupled for the second boat. They try to console Maddie by suggesting she squeeze in but she goes on a walk instead. Maddie calls to update her mother and voices her frustration.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Afterwards, Maddie encounters Saint Brigid (Dawn Bradfield). She realizes that she was thoughtlessly making a wish on the wishing chair. Saint Brigid encourages her to commit to her wish-making and instructs her on the proper process. Doubtful, she says her wish with all her might. She wishes to be Paul's wife and is underwhelmed after doing so. She expects special effects to solidify the process, so Saint Brigid obliges. She is knocked back into her room with her wish active and defences high.

Unaware of the situation, Maddie panics seeing Paul in her room. She tries to make sense of the situation by hiding Paul from Emma and by talking to Heather. She admits her wish and explains her confusion but she looks ridiculous in this alternate universe. Heather clarifies that she is the person marrying Paul and shows the ring on her finger as evidence.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

Despite the shock, she accepts this with great delight. However, the disconnect with this reality leads to various issues and moments of awkwardness as she tries to adjust to this history and relationship with Paul. We see the difference between when Paul is with her and when he's with Emma. Despite her hope and wish, Paul and Emma still get along better than her even now when she is supposed to marry him.

Paul's mother sets her up to follow tradition by wearing the Kennedy wedding dress. She conceals her displeasure and tells her friends she will wear it for Paul. During the dress fitting, she spots Saint Brigid and runs after. Her happiness is questioned as Saint Brigid says, "Are you really happy with your wish?" Her chase causes a reunion with James and a meeting with Olivia Kennedy. This leads to James being hired for the Kennedy wedding.

Despite people not being his favourite object of choice, he decides to accept the job due to the cancellation of the sheep shearing festival. She spends time with him to explore and select Irish idyllic backgrounds as requested by Paul's publisher. Being Paul's editor, the couple photographed in Irish locations similar to his book would boost Paul's book sales.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

She and James still bicker but discuss. James makes her confront the topic of writing her book. Her excuse of being busy is answered by James who says she's been busy writing Paul's book. Again, she defends Paul while belittling herself. She says she doesn't have anything to say. James says, "Everyone has something to say. They just have to be brave enough to say it." She becomes defensive asking if he's calling her a coward but he says he didn't say that. They share more opinions at the Cliffs of Moher. She says he's a good photographer and he encourages her to be more vocal about what she wants. She says she doesn't want to be difficult to suggest her marriage to Paul being at the Cliffs of Moher. James says, "I'd hardly call having a voice at your own wedding being difficult." He apologizes for his suggestion seeming to be an intrusion and they head back.

However, the unfavourable weather conditions prevent that and they resort to seek refuge. They drink, dance and get two rooms to spend the night. The development and visit to the establishment allow Maddie to be introduced to someone dear to Paul. Paul tells her about his friend, Tom (James Rottger) and the significance of Ireland to him. He is a traveller and has no home, claiming to appreciate the lack of ties to anything. When he was younger, his family often visited Ireland so he makes the time to return whenever he can. As Maddie and James got closer when spending time together, so did Paul and Emma. They return the next day and head to the wedding rehearsal.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

She interrupts Emma who stands in for her but faints after the shock and fall of seeing Saint Brigid. Despite her call for James as she awoke, she says everything will be fine because she's "marrying Paul Kennedy." This serves as encouragement for her to finally marry the person she longed for regardless of the wrong things. She ignored the fact that she was not happy to achieve her goal. His parents didn't like her, Paul didn't like her, she didn't like Paul, the fallen tree from the weather change, and more.

Their lack of connection is clear when they are encouraged to play the "How well do you know your fiancé?" game. The attentive and high-spirited guests await the couple's answers to the question. However, Maddie fails to tell the story of their proposal after she accepts Paul's wrong answer to her favourite author. Paul tells the story and she shockingly finds out that in this universe she proposed to him.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

She accepts it but it is evident to Paul and James that something is amiss. After Paul says he wrote her vows and she can't dance, she looks for James. James is hesitant but asks if this is everything she's ever hoped for. He brings up Paul getting her favorite author wrong and she defends him. Maddie says she is marrying Paul despite their lovely time together. He accepts it but says that if she was his girlfriend she wouldn't have waited. He would have proposed to her first. They continue to argue before going their separate ways.

The next day they meet at the lily pond and discuss calmly. She defends her stance to marry Paul but he asks her why she's so sad then. Minutes before the wedding, she discusses her wish to Saint Brigid with Father Callahan (Aidan Jordan). He says she is quite humorous and may not give you what you want but will always give you what you need. After he leaves, Emma enters to discuss with her. Maddie makes Emma confront her feelings for Paul and reveals her sighting of their sorrowful meeting. Emma cries and apologizes. She explains that nothing happened but when she met Paul it felt like fate. Guilt-ridden, Maddie promises to fix things.

Maddie attends the wedding to cancel it. She says, "People often tell me that I need to speak up for myself" and she does so. She explains things but it is halted by Paul's furious mother. Paul states the reason for Maddie's decision is James. Paul saw them talking at the lily pond and said that James was trying to steal his bride. James defends himself and exposes Paul saying, "At least I'm not stealing Maddie's ideas and calling them my own." Paul claims he did write the book but Maddie finally uplifts herself saying she wrote the book.

This causes an uproar and an unhappy disastrous end for everyone. Maddie chases after James saying she believes they are to be together and even after they kiss, he leaves. Heartbroken, Maddie drives back to the wish on the wishing chair. She calls out Saint Brigid saying everything has gone terribly wrong but she says, "Has it? Or has it gone exactly as it was supposed to?" She accepts that she has learned her lesson to live her own destiny before her wish is undone.

With everything back to normal, she attends the wedding of Paul and Emma. Heather seeing Kory's lack of interest decides to move on instead. Unlike Maddie, her resolve to get over him is more certain. Maddie encounters Paul and he asks about their work on the next book. She asks if she will receive a co-writing credit but he declines saying that's not how they work. He informs her of their existing relationship saying she helps him and his name sells the books. She declines their continued relationship. She says that is not proper teamwork and she was going to write her own story. She leaves the celebration to search for James. She finds him and realizes his memory of her is still from the bus ride but she makes conversation which leads to their hopeful continuation.


Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

A lesson about cowardice. Maddie took the easy way out in love and profession. She used Paul to share her thoughts and used the wish to attain a relationship. Paul may have used her for his image but she used him to avoid responsibility. People are often afraid of their potential greatness and Maddie was. During Paul's book reading, she recited the lines along with him but kept minimizing her contribution. She was not brave enough to confess her feelings to Paul in both universes but carried on with the wish. Thankfully, being with James allowed her to realize her self-worth and heightened her bravery.

During the interview at the beginning of the movie, I thought they seemed rather flirty and I noticed this again. Paul seemed to unintentionally lead Maddie on. Before he brings up the topic of them getting to write his sequel he calls her saying, "There's my girl." I felt this may have been his method to coax her into their work relationship. To take advantage of her feelings while ignoring them but it isn't. He has shown appreciation for her and calls her "Mads" to show their relationship. He is friendly with her but the existence of her feelings makes it appear worse. Maddie said that she cares for him but is not in love with him and that applies to Paul as well.

 His attitude in the alternate universe was horrid though. He was impatient and overbearing but Maddie was willing to accommodate. It was interesting that none of her friends realized her feelings for Paul, I thought at least Heather would but nope. The presence of Saint Brigid was vital not only to teach her a lesson through the wishing process but also to act as a physical agent preventing and allowing certain events. As the patroness Saint of Ireland, her inclusion is noteworthy but her character could be compared to the depiction of "everything happens for a reason" or "what will be will be."

Image Credit: Screenshot from Netflix on YouTube

I thought we would learn more about James and his desire to have no ties but even she would be learning more about him as they start their journey together. However, from his encounters, we see that he's appreciated. I decided to watch this movie because of Ed Speleers. After familiarizing myself with his You character, I thought a rom-com would be interesting. I also wanted to watch it because it incorporated the Irish culture similar to 2010's Leap Year which I enjoyed. Both movies include scenic locations, dancing, something special to achieve their romantic goal, a woman set on marrying someone despite her heart being elsewhere, car issues, and more.

In Leap Year, Anna is frustrated about the absence of a proposal from her boyfriend Jeremy. Her father tells her about a tradition in Ireland that allows a woman to propose to a man on the 29th of February(a leap year). She believes it to be a ridiculous family myth but her father says it's true. He says their grandma Jane did it to grandpa Tom because he was dragging his feet. So she heads to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend who travelled for a cardiology convention.

Image Credit: Screenshot by me

Declan, her driver and eventual fiancé, pokes fun at it saying it's the stupidest thing he's ever heard. He believes, "It's a day for desperate women trying to trap themselves with a man who clearly doesn't want to get married." Despite Anna's reservations, she defends it saying it's a romantic tradition. Similarly to James, Declan believes that if a man wanted to propose he would have done it already. When Paul told the story about her proposal he said that Maddie did it as a way to be brought to Ireland, somewhat as a way to be introduced by him.

Despite her shock by the information, she defends it when discussing it with James. She said, "Wait, so…so what? You don't think a woman can ask a man to marry her?" James says no but she wouldn't have waited if she was his girlfriend, much less propose. This spoke of his certainty and affection for her. Anna and Maddie both decided to go for relationships with people who showed consistency in their interest in them.

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About the Creator

'Vive Akugha

I write on various things: social issues, well-being, cinema and out of curiosity. More!

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