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Irish Wish: Changing Your Story Is Never The Answer To Your True Happiness

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Lindsay Lohan came out with a new movie, ‘Irish Wish’ on March 15th, available now on Netflix. I’m kind of (or not) embarrassed to say that I watched it on that very day, and I re-watched it a couple of times already since then. I was excited to see Lohan back in her element as she’s been making a huge comeback now that Netflix gave her a chance after years of gaining a bad reputation and being un-hirable and undesirable to work with. This new release is her second movie on Netflix, with the first being ‘Falling For Christmas’, which was released in 2022 and co-starred ‘Glee’ actor, Chord Overstreet. She will have another movie coming out later this year with her ‘Mean Girls’ co-star, Tim Meadows.

I’m a Lindsay Lohan fan. I’ve been a fan of hers since her ‘Freaky Friday’ days, and I’m excited for the news that there will be a sequel to 2003 remake of the original, which starred Jodie Foster. I guess you could say that I grew up with Lohan. She was a big part of my teenage phase. I think I watched almost every one of her movies back in the 2000’s. Those were also the first few years of my days following my immigration to Canada. So you could only imagine how excited I was to see her as an adult in adult roles.

‘Falling For Christmas’ was the Christmas version of ‘Overboard’, which starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in the 80’s. It was your typical, predictable rom-com. ‘Irish Wish,’ on the other hand, is the St. Patrick’s Day version of ’13 Going On 30′. The movie is categorized as a rom-com, but the more I watched the movie, the more I realized that it had a much deeper meaning than that. And what I mean by that is that ‘Irish Wish’ isn’t necessarily a love story between two people, but rather a love story between one’s self.

‘Irish Wish’ begins its story by showing Maddie supporting her friend and employer, Paul Kennedy, at his book reading event, and she’s obviously infatuated by him. She brings along her two childhood friends, Heather and Emma, and sparks fly between Paul and Emma as soon as they meet. Paul signs Emma’s book and gives out his phone number. Maddie thinks nothing of it, or hopes of it being nothing, but months later, Maddie’s getting ready to travel to Ireland to attend a wedding that’s not hers. To her utter disappointment, she’s attending the wedding of Emma and Paul Kennedy and, and she’s the bridesmaid.

At the airport in Ireland, Maddie meets James, a nature photographer who ever stays in one place and doesn’t have a real place to call home. They immediately have a connection, even as James mostly pokes fun at Maddie the entire time that they’re together. But Maddie is too busy being infatuated with Paul Kennedy and selfishly wishing it was her that he was getting married to instead of Emma. She akes a wish, and the wish was granted. The story then turns into an alternate universe, where Maddie is the one getting married to Paul Kennedy, and Heather and Emma are the bridesmaids.

In the alternate universe, she still meets James, though under different circumstances. He ends up being hired to photograph Maddie and Paul Kennedy’s wedding. In the few days between them meeting and the wedding day, Maddie and James form a friendship that blossoms into feelings. Maddie attempts to withhold those feelings as she’s getting Married to Paul Kennedy, and each time there’s a moment between her and James, she breaks the ice and keeps telling herself that her wish to be getting married to Paul Kennedy is, in fact, what she really wants.

As the story progresses, Maddie realizes that what she wants is not what she needs in her life. She realizes that she doesn’t actually love Paul Kennedy; that he and her friend, Emma are still in love with each other, even in the alternate universe. And she realizes that she is actually in love with James, and needs someone like him. She needs someone who doesn’t hold her back, and instead, challenges her and pushes her to be better. Throughout the movie when Maddie and James connected in the days leading up to her wedding to Paul Kennedy, he did just that by getting her to play darts, drink beer, and dance. He also pushed her to believe in her own worth, from making her own decisions that didn’t involve Paul Kennedy, to getting her to stop belittling her writing ability, and finally getting to write her own book instead of Paul’s without credit.

On the day of the wedding, Maddie doesn’t go through with it and walks down the isle in her regular, everyday clothing. She gives an entire speech on how and why she doesn’t want to marry Paul Kennedy – She’s not in love with him, and if you’re going to get married, it should be with someone you love, not someone you wish for; and it should be with someone you find, or even someone that finds you. And as she says, ‘Someone who find you’, she looks lovingly at James. Though it’s obvious that James loves her too, he ends up rejecting Maddie. As he leaves the wedding and says goodbye to her for good, she tries to stop him, but to no avail. He already made up his mind.

Feeling like her life is about to crumble and fall apart, Maddie reverses her wish. She attends Emma and Paul Kennedy’s wedding as a bridesmaid, and has the strength to ask Paul Kennedy to credit her as a co-writer on his next book. He declines, so she quits working for him and walks away. When he asks her where she’s going, she replies, ‘To write my own story’. And by that, she meant both figuratively and literally. She leaves the wedding to find James. When she does eventually find him, she tells him she’s writing a book and asks him for help, and that’s how their story begins.

‘Irish Wish’ reminded me of another new Netflix film, ‘The Players’, with Gina Rodriguez and Damon Wayans Jr. in starring roles. Rodriguez plays Mackenzie, better known as Mack by her friends. She’s a newspaper article, and works with her friends for a newspaper that’s on the verge of shutting down. Also along with her friends, she plays a ‘game’, if you can even call it that, where they get other people to sleep with them. She’s the mastermind of the group. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that one of those friends, Adam, played by Wayans, whom she’s known since their early years in high school, is madly in love with her, and she’s the only one that doesn’t know it.

Mack meets Nick, and is immediately drawn to him. She makes it her mission for him to notice her so that he can fall in love with her and for them to be in a relationship. She involves her friends in her mission, and Adam agrees to play that game, with hesitations, of course. Mainly because he’s in love with her and wants to her to himself, but also because Nick doesn’t see the real Mack, and doesn’t value her for who she really is. This becomes evident when Mack gives Nick her story to potentially be published in the newspaper. She gives her story to Nick to review it, and when he gives it back to her, she realizes that he didn’t just edit the story, but he changed it to its entity. When she confronts Nick about it, he tells her that he did that for her own good as he wanted her to have a good story because her job depended on it. Rightfully so, Mack breaks things off with Nick and sticks to her story to hand in to the newspaper. Her boss is impressed, which contradicts what Nick told her, and gets the job that she strives for.

‘The Players’ and ‘Irish Wish’ are two very different movies, but they tell their viewers the same mantra – changing your story is never the answer. This goes back to my point in the previous post. Whatever is supposed to happen to you will happen to you eventually. And if it doesn’t, then maybe it wasn’t meant for you. Mack sees her worth in her writing. She wrote about her life; it was something that meant everything to her. She sees it through someone who was supposed to believe in her. But everything about their relationship was a lie. Mack attempted to control everything about that relationship from the very beginning. Nick wasn’t trying to hold her back. He was merely just trying to help in the best way he knew how – by trying to control HER narrative. She realized right then and there that it wasn’t the answer. She realized that Nick might’ve been someone that she wished for, but he wasn’t what she needed.

And it was the same exact story with Maddie. In both universes, Paul Kennedy was thinking only about himself and what benefited him. Maddie was obviously good at her job, and she wanted to peruse her own writing. But something was always holding her back. In the alternate universe, we see that it was she didn’t anyone around her that believed in her enough like James did. James was the one that pushed her to believe in herself more, whereas Paul Kennedy held her back from her career aspirations, and it was the case in both universes, both as a boss and as a fiance. Her wanting to undo her wish wasn’t just about her wanting to be with James. It was also about her taking back her truth and getting to be the person she always aspired to be.

‘Irish Wish’ isn’t just a rom-com. It’s a rom-com with a deeper meaning behind it. It’s practically panned by critics, and if we’re being totally truthful, it’s really not surprising. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, and you don’t miss much if you don’t watch it; though statistics show that it’s the #1 movie in 46 countries and is in the top 10 worldwide. I guess you need to look at the movie from Maddie’s perspective and her story as an individual rather than a love story. ‘Irish Wish’ is a tale that tells the story of a young woman’s journey to self-growth and self-acceptance. It tells the story of a young woman’s journey to accepting her own fate rather than endlessly wishing what wasn’t meant for her in the first place.

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