Home Entertainment Irish Wish review: I'm Irish and I wish Lindsay Lohan's new rom-com...

Irish Wish review: I'm Irish and I wish Lindsay Lohan's new rom-com would vanish


It’s that time of year again when predominately American moviemakers decide to inflict Paddywackery on viewers disguised as a rom-com. Netflix’s Irish Wish is the St Patrick’s Day equivalent of Hallmark Christmas movies.

As an Irish person, I am clearly not the target market. These films are so obviously made for a US audience that it is a wonder they even release them this side of the Atlantic – however, I am probably best placed to review it.

This is Lindsay Lohan’s second collaboration with Netflix and sees her co-star opposite Picard’s Ed Speleers and Versailles’ Alexander Vlahos as the objects of her affection.

She plays Maddie Kelly, the editor of charismatic Irish author Paul Kennedy (Vlahos), who is responsible for his success having basically written his book for him.

Meanwhile, Lohan’s character wants to write her own novel, but is happy to wait in the wings as she is desperately in love with him. This was the first part of this film that made me cringe as Paul is a truly awful narcissist.

His shortcomings aside, Paul falls for one of Maddie’s best friends Emma (Elizabeth Tan). Fast forward a few months and the gang head to Ireland for the couple’s wedding.

En route, Lohan’s lead has a meet-cute with wildlife photographer James Thomas (Speleers). We later learn he’s in the Emerald Isle to cover a sheep shearing contest. Because of course an international wildlife photographer, who shoots endangered species, would be covering the kind of thing that usually only makes the local paper.

There is clearly a spark between the pair, but Maddie is still so hung up on Paul she can’t see it. Instead, she makes [an Irish] wish while sitting on St Brigid’s seat that she was marrying the author instead of Emma.

Cue the fifth-century Saint (Dawn Bradfield) appearing to her dressed in a bizarre green Asian Fusion outfit resembling the Vietnamese Ao Dai. I’ve no idea why a fifth-century Irish saint would be channelling Aisa, but hey – this is a fantasy right?

Of course, her wish is granted but with just two days to the wedding (also – note to Americans – a priest CANNOT officiate a wedding in an outside space – they can only marry people in church!) she keeps finding herself thrown into Jack’s path. The pair visit the cliffs of Moher and have a moment in a bar when they get stuck in a village overnight and lo and behold she is questioning what she really wants from life.

 

Yes, the (basic) plot is standard rom-com fare – but the Paddywhackery! On a scale of Darby O’Gill to Wild Mountain Thyme this is a Leap Year. I can’t even articulate how twee Irish Wish is (no really, I checked the thesaurus and there is no word for it).

I recognised many of the filming locations and while Westport (one of the main spots) is exactly as pretty as it looks in the film (seriously – it is gorgeous) it is portrayed as some sort of backwater when in fact it is one of the busiest tourist towns in the country.

The film also captures the Cliffs of Moher in all their glory, filmed at an angle to ensure that they didn’t catch the thousands of daily tourists and the general busyness of the area. By the time they reached this point, the movie was dragging so much that I was hoping the characters would take a selfie at the edge of the cliff and fall to a watery death so we could get to the credits.

Also, while Vlahos is a very fine actor, he is Welsh. While his accent isn’t the worst Irish accent I have ever heard on screen (it’s actually decent) there are hundreds of handsome Irish actors out there who could have played that role. On the plus side, neither Lohan or Speleers attempt the accent (thank heavens for small mercies).

Even the addition of former Bond girl Jane Seymour, who plays Maddie’s mother, can’t save this. She and Lindsay have no physical scenes together and merely chat on the phone. The character is totally redundant other than performing some “whacky” comedy. Seymour is an icon and far better than this, but I found myself screaming “Why?” at the screen.

Irish Wish is an unoriginal idea (rom-com 101) that is incredibly poorly executed and while Lohan is likeable in the lead and there is some fabulous cinematography, the film really gave me the ick.

While I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, it is ludicrous (even for a rom-com). Maddie’s book plans – give me strength!

As a writer and an Irish person, I found this film awful and offensive on so many levels, so it only gets one star from me, even though Ireland looks gorgeous throughout.

Irish Wish hits Netflix on Friday March 15.

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