top of page

Irish Wish Movie Review: Lindsay Lohan's Whimsical Romantic Fantasy is Pure Escapist Magic

Updated: Apr 24

An Enchanting, Hilarious, and Utterly Irresistible Romantic Comedy That Sweeps You Off Your Feet


Have you ever felt so smitten by a movie that you wanted to bottle up its effervescent charm and joyous spirit to keep forever? That's the euphoric effect of Irish Wish, Netflix's utterly transporting new romantic comedy starring a luminous, captivating Lindsay Lohan in full force as a daydreaming dreamer who gets more than she bargained for when her idle fantasy of marrying her beloved book author morphs into reality.

In the vein of vintage Audrey Hepburn classics but infused with a distinctly modern, whimsical flair, Irish Wish is pure romantic escapism of the most enthralling order. From the moment the town bike messenger literally crashes into our meet-cute moment with Lohan and co-star Ed Speleers, director Janeen Damian whisks us away to a verdant, postcard-perfect Ireland where anything seems possible - including inadvertently causing a loved one's life to be upended in a swirl of storybook magic and mischievous faerie meddling.

While the film's central fantastical premise of having a wish granted by a sly, meddlesome incarnation of St. Brigid invokes familiar fairy tale and urban fantasy tropes, Irish Wish completely transcends its well-trodden romcom DNA through sheer charm, comedic verve, and the dazzling chemistry between its lovably flawed leads. By the time Lohan's gawky, perpetually flustered book editor Maddie awakens into a lavish castle estate having manifested her dream of marrying her longtime crush, the disarmingly askew Paul (Alexander Vlahos), you'll be positively enchanted by the giddy prospect of seeing what ensues from this karmic switcheroo.

The Ultimate Vehicle for Showcasing Lindsay Lohan's Singular Radiance

Of course, it's impossible to overstate the significance of Lohan's leading turn for solidifying her status as the reigning queen of contemporary romantic comedies. After flirting with prestige TV for so many years, the actress has thankfully course-corrected back to the vehicle perfectly tailored to showcase her singular luminescence and flair for luxuriating in the silliness of girl-meets-boy scenarios writ large with a hefty wink.

Lohan radiates an intoxicating luminescence throughout Irish Wish, completely surrendering herself to both the frazzled comedy of errors ignited by meddlesome fate and the moments of giddy romantic splendor. While lesser actresses might struggle to sell the film's tonal ziplines between screwball set-pieces, cringe comedy stemming from marital incompatibility, and swooning bouts of fairytale romance, Lohan executes these shifts with effortless comic timing and unbridled charisma. You'll positively ache from holding back delighted laughter at her reactions to the growing realization that Life doesn't always honor our heart's fondest wishes - and how her pursuit of one flawed soulmate might be obscuring the real romantic destiny lingering right beside her.

But then, that fundamental mismatch provides endless fodder for riotous comedy as well. For as charmed and twee as Lohan's whirlwind widow courtship of Vlahos' vain, patronizing author is, Damian relishes bursting their love bubble early and often. One moment features Maddie coping with a lecherous groomsman whose priapic pursuit constitutes delightfully un-PC harassment. Another finds her desperately scrambling to cover up the boorish romantic's philandering ways with a lie that compounds itself into sublime chaos. And the moments where besotted bride Lohan finds her cravings for intellectual discourse constantly thwarted by simpering empty flirtations yield some of the film's most outrageously funny reaction shots, filled with aggrieved bafflement on her increasingly regretful regard for her long-pined crush.

It's a testament to Lohan's unwavering commitment as a comedian that she's willing to portray Maddie as someone completely clueless to the machinations of her wish granted until evidence becomes overwhelming. Instead of feeling like a detached audience surrogate merely observing Paul's disastrous shortcomings as a soulmate, you invest fully in Maddie's willful blindness as the closest echo of those crushes we've all nurtured despite all clues of incompatibility - those thralls of longing for seeming romantic perfection that, ironically, become their own form of myopia obscuring our true destinies. Lohan immerses herself so believably in this wild flight of urban fantasy that you can't help but truly root for Maddie's happy awakening.

An Exquisite Irish Travelogue Brimming with Romance and Heart

And what awaits Maddie upon her inevitable course correction truly is a feast for the romantic senses. Irish Wish may have its origins in the most familiar of movie premises like Groundhog Day's high-concept narrative hooks or even Jack Black's witch comedy from decades ago. But the film's singular greatest achievement lies in conjuring up dreamy Emerald Isle locations and soupy romantic splendor to make you utterly forget any "been there, seen that" reservations.

Aided by stunning cinematography awash in golden hour magic, Irish Wish makes you believe you've been transported to a realm where the rolling hills and meadows of picture-perfect Irish countryside stretch outward for infinite frolicking. From quaint pubs packed with hearty laughter and fiddle-infused folk sing-alongs to craggy, sweeping cliffs overlooking vast tranquil waters that simply beckon for a spontaneous dance under the moon, Damian crafts location scenery and staging that's pure escapist bliss for any starry-eyed romantic. Prepare to reach for travel guides and transportation costs as Irish Wish makes you yearn to book a one-way ticket to this storybook realm of visual splendor immediately.

Naturally, it helps that our doomed romantic ingenue finds herself inadvertently courting the perfect ersatz suitor for shedding more soulful light: the swoon-worthy Ed Speleers as irreverent lady's man photographer James. From the moment his initial snarky encounter with Maddie descends into bickering chemistry that would make Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy blush, Speleers establishes himself as the ideal Prince Charming foil for Lohan's awakening daydreamer. His rugged charisma and simmering bravado simply radiate off the screen, crafting dazzling romantic tension with Lohan in every coy glance, teasing quip, and sweeping turn around a candlelit tavern dance floor. Thanks to Speleers' smoldering screen presence, every single moment where Maddie gradually peels back her self-defenses to let romantic possibility in again achieves utterly swoonworthy heights - to say nothing of the utterly rapturous catharsis when our lovestruck leading lady must make her final, heart-wrenching choice between soul-deep passion and comfortable compromise.


Indeed, the rapturous, fairy tale romance of Irish Wish casts a transporting spell so sublime that you'll swear you actually feel the spring breeze caressing your cheeks and petals dancing across your face when True Love is finally ignited into eternal bliss. More than merely another meet-cute derived romantic conundrum, the film unleashes a torrent of hard-won romantic yearning and wish-fulfillment reverie with every conversation heart tapped, every bouquet gifted, every spontaneous ballroom waltz whisking the film into a grand swoon of heart-melting romantic nirvana.

A Comedy For the Ages Steeped in Celtic Lore and Magic

Yet of course, no transporting romantic swept would be complete without generous heapings of whimsical Irish magic to fully enchant. Unlike so many other would-be fairy tale romances that fail to breathe mystical life into their fantasy underpinnings, Damian and company revel in conjuring divinely mischievous Celtic folklore to cast a lasting spell of pure delight.

Cheeky imps and pixie-like faerie denizens lurk in every woodland crevice. At the center of their cosmic meddling is a downright scene-stealing Dawn Bradfield as the sharp-tongued, irascible avatar of St. Brigid, the mystical force whose impromptu wish-granting catalyzes our heroine's grand misadventure - all while winking merrily at the implications. Her twinkling-eyed rebelliousness infuses Irish Wish with a delightfully subversive, spiky wit that perfectly counterbalances the film's more earnest romantic longings. Her constant asides and interjections including bizarre Irish blasphemies ("Sweet Sufferin' Jaysus!") take what might be a rote fairy tale turn and imbue it with genuine personality and joie de vivre.

Enjoying this review? If you love exploring love stories, check out That Love Podcast! We bring you original, bite-sized audio rom-coms. Discover your next favorite here:

But the film's most magical achievement lies in balancing such irreverence, endearing kookiness, and full-fledged romantic yearning in harmony. We're treated to riotous shenanigans like the mystical "waking dream" that convinces Maddie her wish succeeded, all while still delivering grand romantic gestures like serenades under the moonlight or fleeing into each other's embrace under a fleeting downpour. And the sly twists where Irish mythology itself refutes false pursuits or redirects wandering souls onto their predestined path - well, those display a canny wisdom worthy of the best Shakespearean fables about civilization colliding with the natural world's mischievous governance.

Yet through it all, Irish Wish never loses sight of its ultimate function to simply transport audiences away into an intoxicating carnival of laughter, relatable heartache, and cathartic romantic triumph that leaves you breathless, giddy, and swooning from all the enchantment. This is a film, quite simply, that aims solely to put a great big smile on your face while briefly releasing you from humdrum reality into a magic-infused, deeply nourishing fantasy realm of pure heart and radiant whimsy. To get lost in its storybook enchantments isn't simply encouraged - it's an absolute requirement.


bottom of page