‘Irish Wish’ Ending Explained: Do Maddie And Paul End Up Together?


Irish Wish is a cringe-fest where every possible rom-com cliche makes an appearance. It is comical, for sure, if parody was what the film was aiming for. I don’t mind a good old rom-com, but this just doesn’t cut it! Every character, every scenario, every dialogue, and every reaction is a rom-com stereotype, and what could have brought back fond memories of the 90s and 00s rom-coms turns out to be a tragic affair. Starring Lindsay Lohan as the nerdy writer Maddie Kelly, Irish Wish revolves around her dream of getting married to Paul Kennedy, a popular Irish writer. Maddie was head over heels in love with Paul, and she ended up writing his book without credit. She was so mesmerized by his charms that she did not think Paul was taking advantage of her. Maddie made up her mind to confess her feelings to him, but she second-guessed her decision when Paul showed interest in her childhood best friend, Emma Taylor.

Spoiler Alert

Who granted Maddie Kelly’s wish?

Maddie tried to calm herself down when she noticed the instant spark between Paul and Emma. She refused to believe that they had a future together, but she could not have been more wrong. Within months of dating each other, Paul and Emma announced their wedding. Maddie was heartbroken; just when she thought she had found love, it was taken away from her. She wanted to be happy for Emma, but she could not help but think that she was somehow wronged.

Right from the moment Maddie landed in Ireland, her luck stopped favoring her all the more. She lost her luggage in the transit, and she met an Englishman who mocked her misery. The nature photographer was not a fan of Paul’s work, and Maddie took it personally because she was the one who actually wrote his latest book. After the brief heated conversation during the bus ride, Maddie reached her destination. Paul’s elegant house was everything Maddie had dreamed about. Watching him prepare to get married to Emma continued to bother her, and she decided to take a walk alone to clear her mind. She walked around Lough Tay and came across a beautiful spot with a cherry blossom tree in the back. Maddie spoke to her mother over a video call, and she expressed how she thought her life could have been different if she had confessed her true feelings to Paul before he met Emma. The call got disconnected, and Maddie suddenly saw a woman standing behind her. She encouraged Maddie to make a wish with all her heart if she truly wanted something in life. Maddie did not believe in magic, but deep down, she hoped that her wish of getting married to Paul would be fulfilled.

To Maddie’s surprise, her dream came true, but it was not exactly what she had envisioned. Gradually, in Irish Wish, we found out that the woman who granted Maddie her wish was Saint Brigid of Kildare. She was known for finding ways to help people realize what they needed in life versus what they wanted in life.

What did Maddie realize after her wish was granted?

It took Maddie a while to get used to the idea that she was marrying the man of her dreams. All of a sudden, she was expected to do her part as the bride, and she was struggling. She was happy that she was living her dream, but she soon started to question whether she was indeed in love with Paul or not. Maddie thought this was what she wanted, but the question was, was it what she needed? To make matters more obvious to Maddie, Saint Brigid stirred the pot a little. Maddie and James’ paths crossed once again, and in the most unexpected way, he was asked to photograph her wedding. Even though it was not the kind of work he was interested in, the pay was pretty good enough to convince him.

Maddie had a tough time forming a bond with Paul, and she ended up kicking him hard when he tried to get intimate. He had no choice but to rest at home, and Maddie and James went out to check the outdoor locations for the wedding shoot. James could sense that Maddie was not entirely happy in their relationship. He was concerned when he realized that she was the one who wrote the book for Paul without any credit. While Maddie repeatedly stated that marrying Paul was literally her dream, James had a hard time understanding how the two made it work without any romance or chemistry.

As the rule of rom-coms goes, it needs to rain to help build tension between characters, and the same happened with James and Maddie. They got stuck and had to spend the night in a modest cabin. Maddie enjoyed James’ company, and she was happy when she was with him. James was attracted to Maddie, and he hoped that she would realize that her marriage to Paul was a bad idea. James is the quintessential rom-com hero, an almost nomad of a man who traveled wherever his heart desired to take pictures of nature. And in Maddie, he found a reason to not run away from his life, but would she break her marriage with Paul, the man of her dreams, to be with James, whom she recently met and felt an instant connection with?

How did Maddie unwish her wish?

Maddie’s proximity to James made her question her decision to marry Paul, but then again, she was living the fairytale she wished for. Instead of facing her reality, Maddie tried to make herself believe that marrying Paul was her only option and that she would eventually find happiness in being with him. James confessed his feelings to Maddie, but she had made up her mind to stick with the wedding. Maddie realized she was making a mistake when she saw Paul and Emma on the patio together. Clearly, they were in love, but in this version of the story, luck did not favor them, and they were forced to stay apart. Maddie realized that no matter how hard she tried, what was meant to be would always be. Emma and Paul were destined to be together, and she was making a terrible mistake by keeping them apart.

Maddie finally decided to cancel the wedding on her wedding day. She hoped that Paul would be understanding, but the situation soon turned ugly, with Paul and James getting into a fight. Maddie assumed that she and James could be together after she called off her wedding, but James suffered from immense guilt for destroying her and Paul’s relationship (after literally asking Maddie to call off her wedding), and he chose to walk away from her and wish her all the happiness in the world.

Maddie realized that the only way to erase everything that had happened was by going to the magical spot where her wish had come true. Maddie begged Saint Brigid to unwish her wish; she admitted that she had learned her lesson and realized that she was not meant to be with Paul in any version of their story. Maddie wished with all her heart, and the spirit granted her wish, and she was transported back to her old reality. Maddie was back in her room, and she had the bridesmaid dress waiting to be worn. Her heart was full watching Paul and Emma share vows; this was always meant to be the perfect ending.

Do Maddie and James end up together?

After Maddie went back to her original reality, she hoped to run into James at the wedding, but unfortunately, he was not the photographer covering the event. Maddie decided to take control of her life instead of waiting for a miracle to happen. Saint Brigid had already shown her what she needed in life, and it was her responsibility to make it happen. Before leaving the wedding venue, she stood up for herself when Paul requested that she work on his next book. She refused to write anything for him without being credited as the co-author. Maddie had learned her lessons! Maddie walked out of the wedding venue and went to the cabin where James stayed. She was informed that James had left a while ago, and she hoped to run into him on the way.

During Irish Wish‘s ending, Maddie and James were finally reunited (as expected). James was seated on a bench; he had no clue about the whirlwind romance he and Maddie had been in in another reality. Maddie was surprised to find out that James had met a woman who advised him to stay back for a few days, and my best guess is that he met Saint Brigid as well! James rejected the photography job he got in Bolivia in the hopes of finding out what fate had in store for him. Maddie, too, decided to stay back in Ireland to work on her book. She knew that she and James would instantly click at the mention of Cliffs of Moher, and she could not have been more right. They decided to go there together, and James and Maddie quickly fell in love all over again. Magic helped Maddie realize what she truly needed in life. She also learned how important it was to stand up for herself. What seems perfect in our minds might not necessarily do good to us, and thanks to Saint Brigid, Maddie learned it the hard way.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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