Irish Wish Ending: Do Maddie and James End Up Together?

In the Netflix fantasy rom-com, ‘Irish Wish’ viewers follow Maddie Kelly, an editor who is hopelessly in love with her client and close collaborator, author Paul Kennedy. For the same reason, her upcoming trip to picturesque Ireland comes with a bagful of complications since she’s traveling to participate in Paul’s wedding— not as the bride but the bridesmaid to her best friend, Emma. Down on her luck and full of regret, Maddie finds herself wishing for an alternate life where she was the one marrying Paul— a wish that a mystical force ends up granting.

Still, as Maddie wakes in this new life as Paul’s bride-to-be, her days continue to carry complications— the least of which is handsome, if cynical, photographer James Thomas. Unwilling to regret her wish but unable to remain happy with it, Maddie attempts to maneuver the tricky situation. Consequently, given the newfound complications in Maddie’s love life, viewers must be curious to know where Maddie’s instincts lead her and if it’s in the arms of a particular English photographer. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Maddie’s Wish and Paul Kennedy

Even though Maddie and James have a meet-cute early into their arrival in Ireland, Maddie continues to pine after Paul Kennedy. The two meet at the airport over luggage confusion, which sets the tone for their snippy and bickering dynamic. Likewise, James’ vocal dislike for Paul Kennedy as an author further aggravates their tense acquaintanceship. Therefore, even though Maddie learns a bit about James during the bus ride to the Kennedy Manor, she doesn’t instantly fall for the man.

Nevertheless, their meeting becomes obsolete after Maddie visits Lough Tay with her friends. During the visit, she opts out of third-wheeling a boat ride and comes across a wishing chair on a scenic pathway. While the woman remains reluctant to believe in such a fantasy, a mysterious lady— who seemingly materializes out of nowhere— convinces her to vocalize her wish. Thus, Maddie wakes up the next morning with her life completely changed.

As it would turn out, the wish rewrote Maddie’s past so that instead of Emma, the former ended up dating Paul and is set to marry him at the upcoming wedding. Still, soon enough, Maddie realizes her wish doesn’t come without its fallbacks. While marrying Paul is a dream come true, Maddie keeps having to compromise to comply with Paul’s tastes, which run differently from her own.

Furthermore, Maddie constantly feels like the lady from the wishing chair is expecting her to regret her choice. Consequently, she’s determined not to give her satisfaction of being right. However, things change when Maddie runs into James in this new reality through the magical lady’s meddling. One thing leads to another, and James— a nature photographer— ends up accepting a last-minute gig as the wedding photographer for Paul and Maddie.

Maddie and James’ Relationship

Once James becomes an inescapable addition to Maddie’s life in the few days building up to her wedding, the woman finds it more difficult to pretend she’s happy with her new arrangement. Unlike Paul, James seems to actually seamlessly fit in with Maddie, sharing her interests and eager to learn more about her. For the same reason, the day that the pair departs to scout for a post-wedding photoshoot location brings them even closer together. Moreover, a storm strands the pair together in an inn, leading to a pleasant night of dancing and drinking.

Therefore, by the time the wedding rolls around, Maddie becomes incapable of pretending she’s happy to marry Paul Kennedy. Even though she has dreamt about the same for months on end, Maddie’s feelings for the other man were only a fantasy, with her putting Paul on a pedestal. Inversely, she can share real moments with James, who helps her realize that Paul has been exploiting her duties as his editor all this time by compelling her to write his book and refusing to credit her as a co-writer.

Thus, at the wedding ceremony, Maddie decides to call off her engagement, leading to an altercation between James and Paul, who blames the other man for Maddie’s reluctance to go through with the wedding. As such, despite James’ feelings for Maddie, he realizes they can’t start a relationship together since it would be built on the chaos of Maddie’s canceled wedding. Perhaps, in some ways, he feels guilty for making the woman doubt her previous relationship.

However, Maddie knows that she’s only done herself and Paul a favor since neither actually loves the other. Therefore, the woman rushes to Lough Tay to try and find the magical woman—Saint Brigid— again and undo her wish. Consequently, the past few days rewind with everything returning to normal. After attending Paul’s wedding to the woman he actually loves, Emma, Maddie decides to go out and find James.

In the end, James remembers Maddie only from their meeting at the airport but still remains interested in her. In fact, despite his world-wandering habit, he decides to settle down in Ireland for a while. Similarly, Maddie also decides to give up on her job as an editor and stay in Ireland to work on her debut novel inspired by the Cliffs of Moher that she visited with James in an alternate reality. Thus, after tracking James down in the small town, Maddie asks the man out, marking the start of their relationship.

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