‘Irish Wish’ (2024) Cast And Character Guide

Irish Wish is a 2024 romantic drama movie on Netflix, featuring Maddie Kelly, a book editor played by Lindsay Lohan, who has a deep infatuation for the book writer Paul Kennedy, portrayed by Alexander Vlahos. Despite their contrasting personalities, Kelly mistakes her crush for love. When Kennedy is on the verge of marrying Kelly’s best friend Emma, played by Elizabeth Tan, Kelly wishes she could be the one for him. However, she crosses paths with James Thomas, a photographer played by Ed Speleers, who helps her discover her self-worth through mystical circumstances. While the storyline may seem familiar, akin to films like Look Both Ways or The Royal Treatment on Netflix, Irish Wish adds a touch of intrigue with its mystical fantasy element, ultimately showcasing the importance of self-love. Now, let’s delve into the cast and character guide.


Spoilers Ahead

Maddie Kelly 

Maddie Kelly, played by Lindsay Lohan, is a book editor who prefers to stay out of the limelight. But even being a talented writer, Maddie struggled financially as a freelancer, forcing her to transition into the publishing industry. She puts considerable effort into editing Paul’s book and improving its quality, yet she receives little acknowledgment for her contributions. Maddie’s lack of self-confidence leads her to believe she’s in love with Paul, overshadowing her own self-worth. When Paul hints at having something important to discuss with her, Maddie naively hopes for a proposal; however, she is devastated to discover that Paul merely wants her to edit another book and while he began to pursue her best friend Emma romantically. romantically involved with her friend Emma. This realization leaves Maddie feeling foolish and unappreciated.


During Paul and Emma’s wedding in Ireland, Maddie makes a desperate wish under a mystical wish-granting cherry tree to marry Paul. When the dream sort of comes true, Maddie sees she is marrying Paul. However, this illusion exposes the harsh truth of their relationship: Paul manipulates her and takes advantage of her talents without giving her the recognition she deserves. Even though they’re tying the knot, it’s clear Paul’s doing her a favor, not the other way around. Enter James, the nature photographer, who opens Maddie’s eyes to how much she’s been neglecting herself for the sake of this fantasy with Paul. Maddie realizes that she has been lying to herself all along, ignoring her own needs and desires to fit into Paul’s vision of their relationship. From the wedding dress to the vows, it’s like she’s living someone else’s life. In the end, Maddie stands up to Paul and tells him straight: She won’t settle for living in his shadow anymore. She insists on being recognized as a co-author on their future projects and decides to focus on her own happiness and self-respect.

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy, played by Alexander Vlahos, is a complex character in the movie. He’s the type who thrives on taking credit for other people’s work, eager to bask in the spotlight at the expense of others. Maddie’s editing significantly boosts the success of his latest book, yet Paul happily claims all the glory for himself. In the dream-like situation where he marries Maddie, his self-centeredness persists. During their supposed wedding, Paul’s true colors shine through. He treats the event as a PR opportunity, obsessing over picture-perfect moments for social media and fan approval. He even goes as far as writing the wedding vows himself and expects Maddie to simply edit them. He boasts about how Maddie is the one who proposed to him, not the other way around. He decides on the wedding location and insists on Maddie wearing his family’s traditional gown, disregarding her wishes entirely. Despite being committed to Maddie, Paul’s attention goes towards Emma, whom he feels he has a deeper connection with. When Maddie confronts him about their relationship and his feelings for Emma, Paul disregards Emma as irrelevant and accuses Maddie of having an affair with James. When, in reality, Paul is about to go on a honeymoon with Emma, he heartlessly tells Maddie to start writing their next book alone, without any plans to give her credit for her work. This manipulation and disregard for others’ feelings showcase Paul’s selfish nature. 


James Thomas 

James Thomas, the nature photographer in the film, plays a pivotal role in helping Maddie discover her true worth. Initially portrayed as arrogant and dismissive, James shows little regard for Paul Kennedy’s books until he learns that Maddie was the editor behind his success. Living a nomadic lifestyle with only his camera and passport, James lacks family or romantic ties, preferring to stay in hotels as he travels. As James is hired to photograph Maddie and Paul’s wedding, he accepts it to be with Maddie and gradually realizes Maddie’s lack of self-confidence and reluctance to speak up for herself. Despite only knowing her for a short time, James learns more about Maddie’s likes and dislikes, such as her love for James Joyce and her desire for carefree dancing while being drunk, contrasting Paul’s ignorance of these aspects of her personality even though she is his soon-to-be wife. When Maddie becomes upset over James’ assumption that she proposed to Paul, he gently reminds her that in a healthy relationship, partners support each other without waiting for one to take the lead. James encourages Maddie to prioritize her own feelings and worth rather than constantly trying to please others or feeling obligated to be grateful for their attention. Through their interactions, Maddie begins to develop feelings for James, recognizing the genuine care and understanding he offers her.

Other Supporting Characters: 

Saint Brigid: Saint Brigid, portrayed by Dawn Bradfield, is the mysterious fairy godmother figure who grants Maddie’s wish when she sits under the mystical cherry tree, wishing to marry Paul. As Maddie navigates the challenges presented by her wish, Saint Brigid’s influence becomes increasingly evident, nudging Maddie towards self-discovery and empowerment by showing her the harsh reality of marrying Paul.


Rosemary Kelly And Bolivia Kennedy: Rosemary Kelly, portrayed by Jane Seymour, is the supportive mother of Maddie Kelly. She has always stood by her daughter’s side, offering unwavering support and encouragement. On the contrary, Paul’s mother, Bolivia Kennedy, portrayed by Jacinta Mulcahy, is depicted as controlling and demeaning towards Maddie. She forces Maddie to wear the wedding gown passed down from her mother and grandmother, disregarding Maddie’s preferences and projecting that Maddie is the lucky one for marrying her son, not the other way around. 

Emma and Heather: Emma and Heather, portrayed by Elizabeth Tan and Ayesha Curry, respectively, are close friends of Maddie. Despite Maddie’s desire to marry Paul and be with him, she notices Paul’s affection for Emma, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Even in the dream wedding scenario where Paul marries Maddie, Maddie sees how shattered Emma seems, making her believe that perhaps in another life, Paul and Emma could be together.

Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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