‘Irish Wish’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Maddie And James Reunite?

Lindsay Lohan is back, this time with a lukewarm romantic drama that is reminiscent of many films of the genre from thirty years ago. Irish Wish is yet another film about a man who meets a woman, this time set in the scenic country of Ireland. Irish Wish is an hour and a half long and takes the audience through the cliched route every romantic film follows, and this article will attempt to navigate the story of Maddie and James and how they find their way back to each other.


Spoilers Ahead 

What Was The Maddie-Paul Relationship Like?

Madeline ‘Maddie’ Kelly was the editor who was assigned to work with Paul Kennedy, who had trouble finding success with his previous books. Maddie not only edited his book but practically wrote it for him without expecting anything in return. Maddie was in love with him, information she had shared only with her mother. Her best friends, Emma and Heather, were unaware of the love she harbored for him. Maddie hoped to reveal her fondness for him on the night of Paul’s book launch. Paul, on the other hand, was blissfully unaware of Maddie’s undying love for him and always chose to treat her like a friend. 


Who Did Paul Fall In Love With?

Maddie introduced her friends Emma and Heather to the person she secretly loved. To her shock, Paul began to show interest in Emma and signed the copy of the book she purchased with his phone number, indicating he was interested in dating her. Maddie faced the consequences of not having shared any of her feelings with Paul. If Emma had been aware of Maddie’s love for Paul, she would have stepped away. Since none of them were aware of Maddie’s feelings, Emma went ahead and dated Paul, and all Maddie could do was witness her heart getting broken. 

Who Did Maddie Meet In Ireland?

Paul and Emma were all set to marry in Ireland, the groom’s home country. Maddie joined them as a bridesmaid and the couple’s good friend. Maddie felt out of place because this was not how she imagined her life would be. At the airport, she met James at the baggage belt and argued over a suitcase. Both met on the same bus that was headed to Paul’s hometown, which incidentally is the place James belonged to. They further argued over his dislike for Paul’s latest book. James was a nature photographer who was in town only for a few days and was planning to leave for another expedition. 


What Did Maddie Wish For From Saint Brigid?

Maddie was still upset to watch her best friend marry Paul, and she could not bear to be alone with her thoughts or process the pain of losing him. Heather had found interest in Paul’s brother, which left Maddie on her own, and she went around enjoying the scenic mountains of rural Ireland. Maddie accidentally sat on a stone bench, when she was approached by a fairy godmother-like figure who wanted to help her. Saint Brigid offered to fulfill one of Maddie’s wishes. She chose to let her know about her wish to be married to Paul. Maddie was not sure if this was real or if someone was trying to hoodwink her into believing magic works. The only reason she shared her innermost desire was because there was no harm in doing so with a stranger. Since Maddie was new to Ireland, she wasn’t aware of the powers the Saint Brigid carried. 

What Happens To Maddie When She Wakes Up?

Maddie woke up to realize she was in Paul’s bedroom and was shocked to know her dream of being married to him was made a reality by the fairy. Maddie was having a hard time fitting in with Paul’s family and understanding what he expected of her as a partner. She found herself distancing herself from Paul, but he did not mind spending time with Maddie as there was a genuine friendship between them, but the lack of love and longing was bothering her. There was no connection between the two, and Emma was clearly more compatible with Paul than Maddie. Since Maddie had not forgotten what exactly the scenario was before her wish was granted, she was wondering if marrying Paul had been the right choice. 


Was Maddie Attracted To James?

She and James met again as he was hired by Paul’s mother to photograph the wedding. Maddie and James ended up going to scout for an outdoor location that would be ideal for the wedding photoshoot. They ended up heading to a cliffside, which turned out to be her favorite spot, but she knew Paul would reject it. James and Maddie had a good time together, and the latter revealed James Joyce to be her favorite author. Thunder and rain forced them to remain stuck in that area, and they ended up bonding at a local pub over drinks and dancing. James and Maddie were attracted to each other, but the upcoming wedding to Paul stopped her from acting on her feelings and instincts. 

What Made Maddie Change Her Mind About The Wedding?

Maddie began to understand that she and Paul were not meant for each other. Everything was falling into place in Maddie’s head when she figured she was meant to be with James, who was trying to get to know her, unlike Paul. There was a certain awkwardness when everyone learned it was Maddie who proposed marriage and not Paul. 


James was taken aback by Maddie’s decision to go ahead with the wedding, as he could see how incompatible the betrothed couple was. In a fit of anger, James confessed he would have proposed first if Maddie was his girlfriend because he would not have waited this long to be married to her. This revelation changed everything for her. On the day of her wedding, Maddie spoke to the pastor about the magic of Saint Brigid. The pastor was quick to inform her about Saint Brigid’s offering her favorite pupils not what they wanted but what they needed. Maddie also witnessed a moment between Emma and Paul. Emma also confessed her love for Maddie’s fiancé, which made it easy for her to decide to call off the wedding. 

Why Did Maddie Ask Saint Brigid To Alter Her Wish?

Maddie announced her plan to not get married to Paul, which put him and his family on the back foot. Paul, on the other hand, blamed James for her decision which caused a physical altercation between the two men who were seeking Maddie’s attention. Paul, on the other hand, dismissed Emma as someone he wasn’t interested in, but Maddie was keen on stopping James from leaving. Maddie was falling for James, and the fact she went after him and not Paul after calling off the wedding proves where her allegiance lay. 


James was in love with her, but he did not want their relationship to begin this way. He was not keen on being the other man who caused a couple to break up. James was hoping Maddie would decide long before the wedding and not wait till the last moment to gather the courage to confess her love to James. Her love interest had walked away, and the heartbreak made her upset which was worse than learning Paul chose Emma over her. 

James had tried to get to know her, and Paul only used her for her talent. This was the huge difference between the two men she loved. She ran off to the stone bench in the hope of begging Saint Brigid to change her wish. She wanted a change of scenario and wanted to meet James again in the hope he would not remember anything about having known her well. Maddie wanted to be with James, and she would do anything to make that happen. 


Did Maddie And James Reunite?

Maddie came out of what seemed to be a dream only to find herself being the bridesmaid for Emma at her wedding to Paul. Maddie was glad she had snapped out the dream because she was free from the thought of being in love with Paul and could pursue James even though there was a fear that he wouldn’t recognize her. The only person who was aware of the changes was Maddie herself, and she was glad there was no clash between two parallel worlds. In this world, which is her reality, she could pursue James because she was not committed to anyone, and they could get to know each other from scratch. 

Maddie was happy to see Emma and Paul together. It was the first time she gathered the courage to ask Paul about granting her co-writer credits in his next book, which he wasn’t ready to do. Maddie stood up for herself instead of being meek and letting Paul take her talent for a ride. Paul was not great with words, and it was Maddie who was responsible for making his book a success. On learning she wouldn’t be given what she had asked for, she quit the job. 


Maddie ran off to look for James at a local pub, and she was informed about his leaving the town. Unlike Paul, Maddie and James had spent time talking, which made her change things around her. She wanted to use the information she knew about James to get closer and form a healthy relationship.

Irish Wish ends with Maddie meeting James at a bus stop—two people who had met at the airport and on the bus on the way to this town. Irish Wish‘s ending was like the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; the only difference could be that it was only James who was unaware of ever meeting Maddie in a parallel world. Maddie used this as an opportunity to get to know him further and was hopeful that James would like her this time around as well. 


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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