‘Irish Wish’ review: Lindsay Lohan rom-com is a disaster
(Credits: Netflix)

Film Reviews

‘Irish Wish’ review: Lindsay Lohan rom-com is a disaster

Irish Wish - Janeen Damian

If you’re in the mood for a cinematic disaster that’s the equivalent of a rom-com salad made from the leftovers of every other rom-com you’ve ever seen, then Irish Wish might be right up your alley. But if you value your time, sanity, and the integrity of the rom-com genre, steer clear of this disaster.

Directed by Janeen Damian and written by Kirsten Hansen, Irish Wish follows Lindsay Lohan’s Maddie. An aspiring writer with dreams of publishing success, Maddie pines for the guy she is editing for. Alexander Vlahos’s Paul Kennedy is, in short, a self-involved loser. Ignoring every sign Maddie has ever beamed towards Paul, he falls for her childhood friend Emma (Elizabeth Tan). Months later, shown through the flitting of calendar pages in one of the laziest transitions, it turns out that Paul and Emma are getting hitched in Ireland. 

While sitting on an ancient magic boulder and feeling powerless, Maddie wishes she were marrying Paul instead. Miraculously, she swaps lives with Emma the following day. Initially enjoying her newfound life, Maddie soon realises sometimes what you wish for is not what’s actually good for you. Our main love interest in this open-ended triangle, Ed Speleers’s James, helps this elf-realisation journey along in his own brusque demeanour.

Irish Wish may sound like a regular old formulaic and comforting tale of love wrapped up in its fair share of hijinks and shenanigans. But it is actually atrocious. Let’s start with the writing, or the lack thereof. Irish Wish is pieced together by a committee of rom-com enthusiasts who watched too many Hallmark movies in one sitting and shoved every script into a computer to regurgitate something resembling cinema. This is peak AI screenwriting at its wonkiest.

The plot is a predictable mishmash of tired tropes and recycled clichés that you could probably guess blindfolded. From the unoriginal premise of a wish gone wrong to the cringe-worthy dialogue that sounds like it was lifted straight from teenage fanfiction, there’s nothing fresh or innovative about this screenplay. This is the level of writing skill freshers flex on Wattpad. At least, they bring more heat to the story, making it worthwhile for the smut connoisseurs—refined or otherwise.

But it gets worse. The acting in Irish Wish is wooden, rushed, and inauthentic, all a reflection of its non-existent direction. It is painful to watch. A similar conundrum hit the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Lindsay Lohan, bless her heart, tries her best to inject some life into this sinking ship. Rom-coms are, after all, her forte, her easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy dancing ground of delight. But even her effervescent charm can’t salvage the wreckage.

Even the cinematography is oddly amateurish, unlike what the polished trailer released by Netflix promises. I’d believe you if you told me this film was shot on an iPhone set to 1080p. The lighting is also as gauche as the mismatched makeup on the severely botox-ed faces. It’s like the filmmakers couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort beyond the absolute bare minimum.

Irish Wish is a trainwreck of a movie that’s best left unwatched. Your brain cells will thank you. The only good reason you would want to hit the watch button on this one is if you are afraid of sleeping alone and need some senseless droning of background dialogues to lull you into slumber.