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Rachel McAdams: Pressing Play on Iconic Films From My Childhood

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

From Mean Girls to The Notebook, Rachel McAdams has given the world legendary performances in movies, films and television shows for over a decade. Her work always has a way of making my heart melt, eyes tear and hands sweat. Her incredible diversity and range have consistently made for extremely entertaining films. Rachel McAdams displays remarkable chemistry between her and every actor she works with. Her roles and films made a huge impact on my childhood and generated varying emotions of excitement, disappointment, heartbreak and happiness. Without further ado, here are some of my go-to Rachel McAdam films!

Starting with the hit film Mean Girls, Rachel McAdams’ role as the queen bee in this high school comedy made an incredible impression on my childhood and my entire generation. The evil-spirited character was an amazing contrary to McAdams’ normal kind and polite film personality, making her the perfect fit for the role. The iconic film influenced and was parodied in Ariana Grande’s Thank you, next music video and created the amusing and clever meme of “On October 3 he asked me what day it was” which continues to live on. Various cast members were nominated for awards throughout 2004 and 2005.  McAdams herself won the 2005 Breakthrough Female Performance award and was a part of the Best On-Screen Team award on MTV. Rachel McAdams’ performance as that cruel, merciless teen unquestionably confirms the movie will remain entertaining and classic for decades to come.

Though maybe not one of the most popular films on Rachel McAdams’ resume, The Vow is a devastating yet heartwarming movie, perfect for a date night. When a car accident leaves McAdams’ character, Paige, with severe memory loss, her forgotten husband is determined to rebuild their marriage by courting her. The romantic film has left me more than a bit teary, but the predictable ending seems to leave me wanting more. McAdams’ performance as a confused, distraught and later lovestruck character constantly brings me back to the movie.  And who doesn’t love to see a little bit of Channing Tatum?

The Notebook: need I say more? This 2004 romantic drama tells the tale of two teenage lovers and their journey to overcome social classes and family obstacles. McAdams perfectly embodied a character that is overwhelmed with memories of her past and conflicted about her current feelings. The film was nominated for numerous awards in 2004 and 2005, with McAdams winning the 2004 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss with co-star Ryan Gosling, and four Teen Choice Awards in 2005. The on-screen chemistry and romantic tension between McAdams and Gosling made for an especially entertaining, heartbreaking and dramatic film.

Rachel McAdams is an incredibly talented actress whose iconic films brought me extreme emotions from joy to despair during my childhood and teen years. As the years go by, these movies will continue to be a source of comfort that I can return to.

Isha Pabla

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Writing has always been a passion of Isha's, and while pursuing a major in business and computer science, she finds it wonderful to be able to exercise her creativity and activism with Her Campus. Isha enjoys writing about social justice issues, community engagement and social wellness.
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