I saw a new Rachel McAdams movie, so I decided to update the post I did about Rachel McAdams before I moved to Canada. The original post was published on September 5, 2020. I only made changes relevant to that particular movie and did some minor editing.

I have fallen in love with Rachel McAdams during the pandemic! A while back, I was starting to find out more about Canadian actors/actresses, singers and other popular artists. One thing I have found is that getting in touch with popular culture in a country is great for getting to know the county better. Plus, it can be a good conversation starter with a native! When I moved to London, the internet was not as common as it is now, so I had no way of knowing what was popular. Kids at school definitely “took the mick” as the Brits say. Now, I don’t intend to get caught out. I love Michael Buble too, but that’s a whole other post!

Here’s what I have seen Rachel McAdams in so far, and my personal thoughts on each of them. Overall, I have really enjoyed them and want to see more!

Warning: Contains spoilers!

CW: Number 7 contains violence against women and kidnapping.

Number 8 contains murder and military violence.

Number 9 contains sexual violence.

Lastly, Number 10 is a movie about exploring religion and sexuality and it contains scenes that are distressing to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Slings and Arrows:

I started my Rachel McAdams kick with this tv series! She plays Kate McNab, a 19-year-old acting apprentice, who you first see playing Moth in The Dream. A stroke of fortune has her playing Ophelia in Hamlet. Apparently, the series was supposed to be about Kate’s career progression in the New Burgage Theatre Festival. After the first season, Rachel McAdams’ career took off and she had to be written out of the series. I was sad that she wasn’t staying through the whole series, but they made it work. I’ve seen the series three times now and it keeps getting better!

Mean Girls:

Rachel did Regina George around the same time as Slings and Arrows! No wonder she had to be written out of the series! I have seen this movie several times, but I had never really paid attention to the actress who played Regina George. I knew she was 30 when she did the role, which was totally amazing to me! When I saw the interviews with the actors in the special features a long time ago, I could see that Rachel McAdams loved the role of Regina George! She listed all the wonderful things about the role and you could just feel her excitement! Nowadays, there are so many memes for Mean Girls all over the place and it’s a timeless classic! Here’s a TCK one I created.

TCK Mean Girls

My Personal Feelings about Mean Girls:

Anyone who knows me knows I have a love-hate relationship with the movie. I went to a historically women’s college and at the best of times, it was amazing. At the worst of times, it was a scene right out of that movie. Some of the students still hadn’t grown up and it was like, really people?

What gets on my nerves the most is that everyone remembers that October 3 is Mean Girls Day, but nobody remembers the line, “You have GOT to stop calling each other sluts and whores! It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores!”. I get it though because sometimes slurs can be reclaimed. In this instance, I don’t believe in reclaiming slurs that degrade women because misogynistic men still get away with using them. I think women need to accept that slurs against them cannot be reclaimed. Full gender parity has not happened yet, and I fully believe it’s not going to happen if women keep using slurs against each other, but that’s another tangent. Rant over. Next.

The Notebook:

I confess I had never seen The Notebook before this summer. I know there was a lot of hype behind it and it has produced that classic kiss in the rain scene. Other than that, I never had any interest in the movie. It wasn’t until I heard Rachel McAdams was in it that I thought, “Well, that makes a difference!” I ended up really enjoying it.

Of course, there were things I found creepy, especially since I’m a modern woman and thanks to #MeToo, sexism in Hollywood is becoming apparent. Not to mention, it’s becoming clearer how Hollywood has influenced young men by normalizing creepy behaviour. Other than that, I do think it’s a special kind of romance movie. I especially like them showing Allie and Noah’s relationship when they are older because you don’t see many elderly couples being romantic in movies. It should be more common because there is something special about it.

About Time:

Another sweet, romantic Rachel McAdams movie. She plays Mary, who is an American living in England. The English setting provides a real depth to the movie and there are no stereotypes of either the English or American cultures. Of course, the best part is the time travel and how it works with different life situations in the movie. It teaches us a lot about making the most of your life.

Game Night:  

I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but this title was exciting! I like playing games myself, plus I took Game Theory in my last semester in college and really loved it. Any plot involving games is going to be great! The plot is a game night that turns into an actual mystery when one of the guests is kidnapped. It’s a comedy thriller, so it’s not too scary. Rachel McAdams (Annie) and her co-star Jason Bateman (Max) carry the movie! They play a married couple who live games, not just play them. The only thing that annoyed me about the movie was using the stereotype that English people are smart and also the actress who was supposed to be English had the PHONIEST accent!!

Midnight in Paris:  

Rachel McAdams (Inez) stars alongside Owen Wilson (Gil). They are an engaged couple travelling to Paris, and Gil is clearly in love with Parisian culture. I love seeing movies with writers in them now that I’m blogging. As a Third Culture Kid, I can totally relate to falling in love with a culture and throwing yourself into it. I found myself cheering on Gil and facepalming whenever Inez or her parents did anything that makes all Americans look like an embarrassment overseas. Before it happened, I knew Inez and Gil were going to break up. I realized that the term Karen can apply to Americans travelling overseas and acting in a way that makes US expats cringe. Rachel McAdams’ played a Karen and did it beautifully!

It’s funny how Rachel McAdams plays a Karen and yet in Mean Girls she says, “God Karen, you’re so stupid!”

Red Eye:

This movie should be shown in every women’s self-defence class! Rachel McAdams plays Lisa Reisert, a hotel manager who works in Florida. She’s flying back to Miami from Texas after her grandmother dies and meets Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) at the airport.

At first, things seem innocent, but there are warning bells going off. It turns out that Jackson is from a domestic terrorist organization that wants to murder an important figure at Homeland Security, Charles Keefe, who is staying at Lisa’s hotel. Jackson kidnaps Lisa while she’s on the plane and makes her put Charles Keefe in a vulnerable room or he will get his hitman to kill her father. Lisa does everything she possibly can to get people on the plane to notice the situation. When she doesn’t succeed, she attacks back. She uses anything at her disposal as a weapon and doesn’t stop until she knows she’s safe. At the same time, she saves her father, Charles Keefe and his family.

State of Play:  

Rachel McAdams plays blogger Della Frye at the fictional Washington Globe. When a congressional aide dies in a mysterious death, Della pairs up with reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) to investigate the shady circumstances. Congressman Collins (Ben Affleck), who the aide worked for is investigating PointCorp, a private defence contractor that has questionable practices using ex-military personnel. Della is almost killed by a former soldier who works for PointCorp. Cal is injured while they are doing the investigation. Cal’s impartiality is questioned because Collins is his friend and his wife was Cal’s former lover. Eventually, Collins is arrested for his involvement in PointCorp while also investigating them right when the Globe releases their story.

Spotlight:  

I saw this movie when it first came out, but haven’t seen it since. Still, it’s a memorable movie about how the Boston Globe exposed global priest pedophilia within the Catholic Church. Rachel McAdams plays Sascha Pfieffer, one of the reporters working on the stories. Sascha is a lapsed Catholic who is torn between the ethics of her duty to expose the truth and her relationship with her Catholic grandmother.

This movie led to some interesting discussions in my family. My Mum was raised Irish Catholic and my grandmother was one of the first female Catholic ministers. Even though I wasn’t raised Catholic, my Mum wanted me to learn that part of my family history, which included the good, the bad and the ugly! My grandmother died before the scandal broke, but my family still wonder what she would have said about it. I feel like my Mum and her siblings related to Sascha Pfieffer the most.

I’m glad that Rachel McAdams has been in movies that talk about the importance of good reporting. It’s critical today, especially today when it’s becoming clear the effects of fake news.

Disobedience:

I saw this during Pride Month. It’s available on CBC Gem. Rachel McAdams (Esti) co-stars with Rachel Weisz (Ronit). They play closeted lovers in an Orthodox Jewish community. The movie starts with Ronit returning to the community after being shunned for lesbian behaviour. She has made a life for herself in New York as a photographer. Her father, who is the head rabbi, or the Rav, of the community has died and she returns for his funeral. Ronit finds out her father disowned her, and Esti is married to her father’s pupil who is expected to take over his role. Esti confesses she’s a lesbian, but she doesn’t leave the commuity with Ronit because she still loves HaShem. She and Ronit explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality, while dealing with prejudice from community members.

Surprisingly, Esti’s husband is open to what’s happening. He realizes he’s not capable of leading the community because he has so much to learn. Esti wants to leave the community when she finds out she’s pregnant. She wants her child to have the choices that she never had. The movie ends with her and Ronit confessing their love for each other and Ronit saying Esti will be a wonderful mother. Ronit regrets she never took a photo of her father, but she takes a photo of his gravestone at the end.

There was one thing that really helped me understand this movie. I read a book called Mystics, Mavericks and Merrymakers in my English literature class. I’m glad I read it before I saw this movie. There’s a certain vocabulary used among the Orthodox Jewish community that I learned while reading the book, and the movie made sense. I was able to explain the terminology to my Mum too.

More Thoughts:

This movie has shown how much Rachel McAdams has grown as an actress since Slings and Arrows and Mean Girls. She’s not Orthodox Jewish, and as far as I know, she’s not LGBTQ+ identifying, but it blew my mind how she nailed this challenging role! There’s a debate of whether straight actors should play LGBTQ+ roles, and my view is that as long as actors are up to the challenge, I don’t have a problem with their sexuality. It’s an actor’s job to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, after all.

Time and again I have seen how diabolical it is to reject someone from a religious community because they are LGBTQ+. Disobedience shows that people are still born LGBTQ+ identifying in strictly religious communities, and nothing can prevent that. Esti and Ronit are no less Jewish because they are lesbian and bisexual. They realize it’s important to be a part of a community that accepts them who they are. It’s warms my heart to see there are religious communites who openly accept LGBTQ+ people and not just give the ultimate gaslighting line of , “I love you, but I disagree with your lifestyle.”. Newsflash: you’re a bigot if you say that!

This video is acceptance and love like nothing I have ever seen before!

How to do love and acceptance

I’m going to be doing more updates and editing this month rather than new stuff. I’m a busy bee! Plus, it’s summer, so I feel more sluggish.

Hope you like the updates I made to this old post and hope to chat with you all again soon!