I grew up very proud of my Irish heritage and family history despite knowing only meager facts passed down from distant relations. This didn’t matter to me though, I ran full speed ahead with my love of Ireland. I was the sort of child that sat in the Barnes and Noble travel section and poured over guides and maps as though my ten year old self was planning to leave for an international flight to The Emerald Isle at that very moment. My obsession soon extended to Celtic music, lore, and stories as well. This adoration has never dimmed so it is rather unsurprising that I love and embrace the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Also, let’s be honest, I’m the type of person who loves a themed celebration for any reason! If I can decorate and make some themed food I am a happy lady.
We ring in St. Patrick’s Day with some of the more common “themed” food traditions like Lucky Charms for breakfast, eating shepherd’s pie for dinner, and (obviously) dying our beer green, but honestly one of the main ways I love to prepare myself for any upcoming holiday is through watching TV. St. Patrick’s Day is no different.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite Irish centered films and TV shows to get you in the mood for the wondrous upcoming holiday.
What is not to love about this movie? A broody “of the earth” type, dark haired Irish man wearing a sweater? Check. An uptight and materialistic American girl who is somehow also sweet and charming? Check. Rolling scenes of gorgeous Irish countryside? Double Check. I mean you guys it’s literally all we could ask for in a Hallmark adjacent romance movie. Also, Amy Adams is adorable and Adam Scott makes a surprisingly convincing dirtbag boyfriend. This movie always makes me want to sell all my belongings and move to some remote inn in the middle of nowhere Ireland. Who’s with me?
P.S. I Love You
What says Saint Patrick’s day more than sobbing your eyes out about a tragic loss of true love? Ok, so maybe avoid this one if you want to avoid tears (so many tears), but you guys it’s so good. The sadness of it is mixed with such sweet and genuine joy it almost entirely makes up for the heartbreaking moments. The music is incredible, the acting is bar none, and the romance is genuinely one of my favorites, possibly of all time. The story is both swoon worthy and realistic. If you’re still not convinced it’s worth noting that it’s Gerard Butler in his absolute prime. Need I say more?
Derry Girls on Netflix
I could talk about this show for a long time. I mean a long time. I discovered it just last year and it wound up being my favorite show of 2019. It’s a teen comedy set in Derry, Northern Ireland in the 90s. It’s outrageously funny within a heartbreaking setting of looming IRA threats. It somehow manages this tension with a seamless ease. It’s also worth mentioning that the 90s music is simply phenomenal. I could scream sing Dreams by the Cranberries on repeat forever but that is neither here nor there. The comedy is fast, quick witted, and heartwarming but you will likely need subtitles to understand anything that they are saying. The Irish accents are a thing of beauty. The show is mostly character work but the scenery, when present, is beautiful in and of itself. Put it all together and you have the perfect St. Patrick’s Day binge watch!
Song Of The Sea
Now this is probably the least known work on this list but it’s assuredly one worth noting. If you are the type that is turned off by something immediately simply because it’s animated I implore you give this one a chance. It solidly makes the list of my top favorite films of all time. That’s how good it is. This movie feels like a reality where Wes Anderson was really into Celtic lore and Irish music and decided to make a cartoon about it (aka a world I would love to live in. Sign me up). The story is compelling, the art is stunning, and the depth of which they reach into Celtic myths and legends is astounding. It also has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Irish filmmakers took great care and love bringing these myths to the screen that’s for sure. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day I say pour yourself a black and tan and give it a try, you will not be disappointed!