Reviews of Lindsay Lohan's Netflix movie 'Irish Wish' are pretty scathing, but say it has a saving grace

Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Critics say "Irish Wish" is full of Irish stereotypes and is formulaic.Patrick Redmond / Netflix
  • Netflix's latest rom-com, "Irish Wish," is set in Ireland and stars Lindsay Lohan.

  • Critics have praised Lohan's chemistry with her costar Ed Speleers.

  • However, they say the movie doesn't have many Irish actors and is filled with stereotypes.

Critics have mostly blasted Netflix's "Irish Wish," the new Lindsay Lohan movie on Netflix, saying it is hokey and not very Irish.

The movie follows Maddie (Lohan), an American editor, who visits Ireland to attend the wedding of her crush, Paul Kennedy (Alexander Vlahos), and her best friend, Emma (Elizabeth Tan).

Maddie makes a wish and finds herself in an alternate universe where she is engaged to Paul, and Emma is the bridesmaid. Ed Speleers plays another handsome suitor Maddie meets on her magical journey.

After "Falling for Christmas," "Irish Wish" is the second holiday-themed Netflix movie starring Lohan and has the same director, Janeen Damian. "Irish Wish" and an upcoming movie, "Our Little Secret," were part of a two-movie deal between Lohan and Netflix.

The current Rotten Tomato critic score for "Irish Wish" is 34%, and the audience score is 44%, but that doesn't mean the movie is unwatchable.

Some viewers said the chemistry between Lindsay Lohan and Speleers is a saving grace for the movie.

Here's what critics have said about "Irish Wish."

For a movie about Ireland, "Irish Wish" is not very Irish, according to critics.

Lindsay Lohan plays Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Lindsay Lohan plays Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."Patrick Redmond / Netflix

"Irish Wish" is set in Ireland, features an Irish saint, and was released on St Patrick's Day. But if you want to learn something new about Irish culture, you should probably look elsewhere.

From Empire review editor John Nugent:

"As with its Irish-romcom forebears, it is chock-full of hoary clichés: establishing shots of rolling fields, fiddle-heavy folk music, a leprechaun-esque fantasy character, some live-laugh-love-esque fetishisation of Guinness, and an array of head-scratching accents (the main Irish character here is in fact played by a Welshman)."

Nugent and other critics also pointed out that very few Irish actors are in the movie.

Vlahos, who plays Paul, is Welsh, although Irish actors play Paul's brother and father.

Some critics also pointed out that the "Irish Wish" version of Saint Brigid doesn't match her personality from folklore.

"Brigid, the matron saint of Ireland, is known in legends for feeding the hungry and healing the sick," Johnny Oleksinski wrote for the New York Post. "Here, she's the genie from "Aladdin" and is costumed for a summer stock production of 'Brigadoon.'"

Critics agreed that the movie was formulaic, although not all critics thought it was a bad thing.

Alexander Vlahos as Paul Kennedy and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Alexander Vlahos as Paul Kennedy and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."Patrick Redmond / Netflix

Many critics were critical of the movie's use of rom-com clichés, such as the love triangle or the lovers-trapped-in-a-storm trope.

Vulture features writer Rachel Handler went so far as to describe the movie as an "AI-generated harbinger of a doomed future where machines make facsimiles of art while humans do their terrible bidding."

Some critics were nicer, including Collider news editor Maggie Lovitt, who argued that rom-coms are meant to be formulaic.

"It's a fun romantic romp, filled to the brim with gorgeous scenery, gorgeous clothing, and beautiful people," Lovitt wrote. "Revel in the simplicity of the formulaic simplicity of yet another magically contrived rom-com, and rejoice that 'Leap Year' has been dethroned (during a leap year, no less) as the best rom-com set in Ireland."

Other critics, such as Nugent and Digital Spy Deputy Movie Editor Mireia Mullor, called it a comfort watch.

"Netflix rom-com can be a little 'seen one, seen them all,' which is both frustrating (is this the best we could do with the genre? Really?) and, paradoxically, blissfully comfortable," Mullor wrote.

Critics were conflicted on whether the views of the Irish countryside were gorgeous or cartoonish.

Ed Speleers as James Thomas and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Ed Speleers as James Thomas and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."Patrick Redmond / Netflix

"Irish Wish" may not use the bulk of Ireland's acting talent, but it does take advantage of its scenery, from Lough Tay to the Cliffs of Moher. Some critics loved this part of the movie.

Indiewire's Samantha Bergeson wrote: "The gorgeous imagery and lush scenery will likely make audiences forget all about other CGI-heavy features that skimp on using real places to make sudsy stories feel even remotely grounded in the real world."

However, some critics thought the vibrant colors made the movie seem cartoonish.

Oleksinski, the New York Post critic, wrote: "Whenever the characters venture outdoors, the sky is made to look so strenuously blue and the grass such a plutonium green, we expect Tinky Winky and the Teletubbies to enter any moment."

Critics said the chemistry between Lindsay Lohan and Ed Speleers was the best part.

Ed Speleers as James Thomas and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Ed Speleers as James Thomas and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."Netflix

While Lohan and Speleers' performance doesn't save "Irish Wish," it has been praised by many critics.

"Lohan and Speleers have sweet chemistry, and that alone would be enough to prove Maddie and James are the true love story," ScreenRant critic Rachel Labonte wrote.

Variety's chief film critic Owen Gleiberman also wrote: "The movie is as frothy as the foam on a pint of Guinness, as formulaic as the last disposable Netflix rom-com. Yet these two make you believe that they belong together, and not every romantic comedy does that."

Of the two stars, Speleers got the most fanfare from critics, with Gleibermann writing that he was the "most charismatic British actor I've seen in quite a while."

Bergeson from Indiewire also praised Speleers for his "A-lister-in-the-making charisma."

If you're wondering how Irish critics feel about "Irish Wish," Liam Fay, a critic for The Sunday Times Ireland, was not a fan.

Lindsay Lohan in a wedding dress in "Irish Wish."
Lindsay Lohan in a wedding dress in "Irish Wish."Patrick Redmond / Netflix

The Sunday Times Ireland critic Liam Fay's main criticism is that the movie feels like "a bland fairy-tale set in a theme-park Ireland."

He said the acting was "cardboard stiff," the slapstick humor in the movie was overdone, and the film was not a true reflection of Ireland.

"Scenery is extensively deployed as filler, diversion and atmosphere-provider as there is precious little story and zero drama," Fay wrote at one point.

One of the few positive notes in Fay's review is that the movie captures Ireland's scenery well.

"'Irish Wish' is an excellent advertisement for a variety of Irish touchstones," he wrote before adding. "But, as a film, it's as dumb as a box of rocks."

Overall, "Irish Wish" is fun.

Elizabeth Tan as Emma Taylor and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."
Elizabeth Tan as Emma Taylor and Lindsay Lohan as Maddie Kelly in "Irish Wish."Patrick Redmond / Netflix

Screen Rant's Labonte said people looking for a cheesy rom-com would enjoy it.

Lovitt from Collider said the movie felt like a "grown-up Disney Channel Original Movie complete with outlandish magical elements, cookie-cutter perfection, and an utterly tame romance."

Indiewire's Bergeson wrote that "Irish Wish" isn't as great as Lohan's previous Netflix movie "Falling for Christmas" and feels more like a Hallmark Channel movie.

Overall, it seems "Irish Wish" has major flaws, but you may enjoy the movie if you come in with the right perspective.

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