Fug or Fab: Rachel McAdams


Someone needs to hand Rachel McAdams another really good movie. I mean, maybe The Vow is it, but I feel like The Vow can’t possibly be really good movie straight-up; it could be a really good movie for watching on an airplane, and it will definitely be a movie people have on their mental list of Movies I Secretly Look For On HBO Every Time I Do A Sweatpants Night On My Couch With A Bottle of Wine To Myself (see also: Love, Actually; The Holiday; anything where people find love in winter, really). But it’s doubtful that this movie will change the way anyone sees Rachel McAdams, or the roles that are offered to Rachel McAdams, and I think she’s too charming and talented to drift. She needs a game-changer. Not that it’s so bad to end up being the go-to girl for Nicholas Sparks or Nicholas Sparks Adjacent projects, mind, but… I guess what I’m saying is, I really loved Mean Girls. And she was so gorgeous in Wedding Crashers. Make me laugh again, Rachel. I can’t secret-cry with you ALL the time.

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[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (87):

  1. maggie

    BUT SHE IS IN GOOD FILMS! CASE IN POINT: Midnight in Paris. AND as far as excellent upcoming movies – she is filming one with terrence malick now. Your pleas have been answered!

    • Annie E

      Yeah, but her part in Midnight in Paris was like, 20 minutes total.

      • GFY Heather

        She was good in it, but she played such a jerk for so little time that I feel like it’s not going to get her offered the really GOOD scripts.

  2. Jamie

    I love this dress ONLY because it looks like Daiquiri Ice ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Anything that makes me think of that delicious flavor is okay by me.

    Also, I love this girl. Someone dye her roots and put her in an Apatow movie.

    • Mair Mair

      Mmmm, daquiri ice cream. My second favorite, after Jamoca Almond Fudge.

    • AMS

      Haha! Daiquiri Ice was the first thing I thought of, too. My first job, in high school, was at a Baskin-Robbins and I spent many long hours looking at that color and then finding weird things to mix with it. I can confirm that it’s not good with chocolate syrup.

  3. Sara B.

    She looks like a Real Housewives of Somewhere wannabe. Pretty dress but the rest is awful.

    • TieDye64

      That was my first thought, too. She’d fit right in.

      The hair? The makeup? Noooooo.

      • Louise

        Holy crap, she kind of looks 45 here! Not that there’s anything wrong with being 45, but SHE should not LOOK it!

    • Kris M

      That was EXACTLY my thought too!!! She’s made up like someone who doesn’t have genuinely nice features (which she totally does).

  4. Lynne

    The dress is lovely. I’m just distracted because good grief! Honey, did you let Gwen Stefani do your makeup or something? You are far too pretty for that, Rachel. I also kind of wish she’d go back to brunette for awhile. She was so pretty as a brunette.

    • Anne B


      She’s a pretty girl, but this makeup looks like it was applied with a putty knife.

  5. Rachel

    Yes, she was hilarious in Midnight in Paris! Let’s just forget about anything by Sparks and focus on Allen.

  6. Caity

    The dress is gorgeous, fitted perfectly. But, I can barely see that for the hair. Seriously, did she darken her roots? Just a few days ago she was on here looking gorgeous, maybe just starting to need a touchup.


    Also, she is so naturally gorgeous, there is no need for that mask of makeup. It looks garish and overdone on her delicate features.

    • pidget

      Totally second that. Where is the softness? Perhaps a do-over on the makeup to “glowy” and a gentle reddish brown tendril updo for her hair, and voila! I am ignoring the shoes.

  7. Molly

    This would have looked much better if she was back to brunette. She also could have used more colorful accessories.

  8. linda

    Something about this just screams society wife.

  9. Blair's Head Band

    Do. Your. Roots.

    • LoriK

      Word. What is up with her consistent failure to properly maintain her dye job? If she insists on being blonde (which I wish she would stop) then she needs to do the work because right now her hair just looks like crap.

      Also, whoever did her make-up should never be allowed near her face again because it is Not Good.

      Also, also, silly putty shoes need to stop being A Thing right damn now.

      • Amber

        YES. I hate these shoes. Take a chance with your shoes–you are young, beautiful and (presumably) rich. Live a little.
        Get rid of whatever the hell that is on your head.
        Scrape some of that make-up off of your pretty face (eek, now I sound like my grandmother…)
        I like the dress, though. So, 1 out of 4? You can do better, Rachel.

  10. kates

    I have lost patience with her over hair color. She’s gorgeous, the dress is meh, but the hair is WRONG AND BAD and it makes me all-capital-lettter crabby. Why she can’t embrace her lovely brunette-ness is beyond me.

  11. maggie

    i will beg to differ, most actresses can play but one thing (themselves). as you point out, she is talented, i would think you wouldn’t want to play the same roles over and over (though I suppose maybe I’m wrong considering the vow is the poor man’s notebook… and the notebook was the poor man’s … well nevermind. far be it for me to hate on gosling) it’s woody allen & coming up – malick … you’ll have to humor me and name better directors/movies you want her in!

  12. Stefanie

    I really like the dress but that hair and all that make up is just screwing it up. Imagine how good she would look with darker hair. *sighh*

  13. Sandra

    I almost love the dress. I just wish somebody could do something with a bodice that doesn’t involve straplessness or the dreaded one sleeve. Totally bored with both looks. The rest of the dress is fab.

    The rest of the total picture scarred my corneas. Did somebody’s toddler do the hair and makeup? And why why WHY do people go around in shoes that don’t fit? I know that some folks who start making movies when they’re very young don’t get much of a chance at formal education, but everybody knows her own shoe size. Doesn’t she?

  14. Ash E

    I love her, think she’s gorgeous & want to be her best friend. Having said that, her hair often looks wiggy to me, both as brunette & blonde. Maybe when we’re best friends, I can talk her into a more natural head suit.

  15. Alicia

    I really love her and the dress, but what is going on with her hair? It is so fried, and the blond washes her out and makes her look way too harsh. And I never will understand the exposed roots look.

  16. Jennifer

    That color is amazing on her. The dress is kind of boring, but I feel like she could have pulled it off with a pretty up-do and softer makeup. That makeup is WAY too harsh for this look….and those bangs need to go.

    • FridgeLogic

      Cosign on the bangs. Everything between her ankles and her neck is perfection. But she has a long, elegant face (like me!) and she needs some forehead to balance out her chin.

  17. mel

    Something about the hair and makeup makes me think Suzanne Somers or a toned down Charo — neither one are especially good comparisons.

    • witjunkie

      I saw Samantha from SATC – like you say, not…what I would think she’d be going for.

  18. Willow

    The dress is gorgeous, the hem is a bit weird, but that’s Vivienne Westwood for you. The face on the other hand, WOAH. She would have been better served with simple eyemakeup and a bright pink lip, and a less intrusive set of bangs.

  19. drPhilG

    I can’t believe you listed two of my favorite Christmas/winter hoodie-time movies. Of course, my wife’s list is a little longer…haha.

  20. TereLiz

    What’s with the uneven hem? Is that on purpose, or is the hem tape just not sticking right?

    Hate the hair/makeup/shoes. Sorry, Rachel, but I just can’t get behind this one.

  21. liz

    the hair is so very terrible. it’s looks like it was raised on a texas lady hair ranch.

  22. Ladyblahblah

    Other than the crown of her head, I’d like this color palette for the bathroom of the beach cottage that I’ll never have.

  23. llism

    I think we should start a petition for her to go back to dark hair.

  24. ABro

    Is it just me, or does she look kind of like Charro in this picture?

  25. Claire L

    No…no…NOOoooo! Why in the world? She is so pretty…and that blond hair just looks terrible on her….. Nothing against blond…I am, often,tempted to try a pretty buttery blond….but then I see a picture of someone who is as gorgeous as RM and how it just doesn’t work on them and I know it wouldn’t work on me….

  26. colleen

    Root issues aside, she needs to be a brunette!! Why does everybody have to be blonde?

  27. mary lou bethune

    Everything is great except the bangs… she is , like Rooney, so talented and lovely that it would be hard to mess things up —
    They both need a funny movie…

  28. Claire L

    It kind of feels like she’s having the same midlife crisis that Reese Witherspoon is having…and it makes me sad. Where are their good friends to shake them and say “Listen girl, you’re fabulous and young and beautiful and shiny…… and don’t make me call ‘Extreme Make Over: You’re Too Young For This$h!^ Edition’ “

    • Charlotte

      Yes! I was trying to figure out who she looked like with that hair, and you’re right: it’s totally Reese Witherspoon In A Styling Rut.

  29. sharjem

    The close up photo of her looks WAY too Emily Valentine for my taste….

  30. Sketchy

    I don’t think there’s anything so terrible, except that color is awful on her skin and they tried to give her some color with an annoyingly bright red lipstick…which only makes her look more washed out. And that hair isn’t doing her any favors either.

  31. Charlotte

    Someone really needs to tell Rachel that the blonde looked good on her in Mean Girls only because her makeup was very restrained and natural.

    I do like the dress. And I like the idea of nude shoes, even if the actual application is off. I even like the necklaces and I love the clutch. But like her last appearance on this site, I just cannot get behind what she has going on above the neck. Rachel! You are so, SO pretty. Why are you doing this to yourself?

  32. anny

    Oooo, I hope she catches the bouquet! Unless – is she playing the mother of the bride? That’s stage makeup, right?

    The shoes are just – you know, SJP’s pointy white ones would look better.

  33. Allison Davis

    SOOOO much make-up! Who does she think she is, Christina Aguilera? She’s so pretty, why would she do that? I’m not even going to mention the hair…

  34. Mahastee

    This look is just so Barbie Generic. It could be anyone, and Regina deserves better.

  35. steen

    Such a harsh look for such a delicate beauty. It’s so many shades of wrong, I don’t know where to begin. Mostly likely I would start by getting rid of the bangs and wiping off that lipstick.

  36. Kelly

    I agree Rachel needs more recognition and won’t get it doing movies like the Vow…but to her credit, she was in Midnight in Paris this year which is really fabulous. If you haven’t seen yet, I’d definitely check it out.

  37. Sajorina

    I would marry this look… after it touches up the roots, tones down the makeup and gets kick-ass metallic shoes! The clutch & jewelry are perfect, though! But, it needs to make those changes in order for me to commit! Rachel is LOVELY and that dress fits her BEAUTIFULLY, but the bangs and makeup are too strong, overpowering and overwhelming for her delicate features! I still give it a FAB because her body is bangin’! Plus, I love her so much in “Mean Girls” & “The Notebook” that I’m totally watching “The Vow”! LOVE!

  38. Ashleigh

    The combo of the hair and makeup reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker – who I like, but when you’re Rachel freakin’ McAdams that’s not a great sign.

  39. Nicole

    Here I thought I was the only one who HATES her as a blond- who can even see the dress when there it that awful thing on her head. Its just so wrong and you wonder her team hates her so much that they let her go out like this and then won’t even tell her that she needs to go back to brunette.

  40. Megan

    This is nice but yeah the hair & make up let her down big time.. A pink lip with softer eyes would have been fab! Shes beautiful, she does not need bangs!!! I don’t mind her as a blonde just not this shade! Otherwise love her!!! & hey she is doing wayyyyy better then Lindsay, so no complaints!!

  41. Jules

    Lol at Charo comment, ABro! She is definitely headed down that path.

    I want to at least forgive her for the shoes, perhaps they stretched…

    However I like the color of the dress, I want to call it sea foam, and the irregular top and bottom hem makes it look even more foamy.

  42. Kara K

    I think her face/hair would work with a darker dress. On the other hand, I love this dress, so a lighter makeup/back to the reddish brunette thing. I loved that hair colour on her.

    She’s so good – and also Canadian! Give her more movies, world. (Though I enjoyed her in Sherlock Holmes and, well, everything else she’s done in recent years.)

  43. amys

    She looks like Avril Lavigne playing dress-up.

  44. Veronica

    If she’s trying to get back to her normal color, I understand there’s not much she can do about the hair, but that makeup just makes it so, so harsh. Some women can handle a big, bold face of makeup, but this feels so overwhelming on her. They should have toned down the eye or lip.

    The dress and shoes I like just fine; I just don’t feel the styling works with it. Wouldn’t a nice pink lip and natural eye have gone better with such a delicate dress?

    • Mamasan

      I agree!! The makeup is so harsh for this frothy, delicate dress. She looks like she was going to put on something very edgy or leather and then changed her mind at the last second.

      And that hair! My gawd those bangs are about to swallow her face!

  45. Amy

    NO NO NO. I hate her as a blonde. Every picture I see of her with blonde hair just looks soooooo wrong on her. someone earlier said ‘wiggy’, and I totally agree. And the clothes and the shoes make it look like she is playing dress up when she has the blonde hair.

  46. Kristina

    Neck down she’s lovely, but yeah, her head and neck are geared up for a funky night out at a rave in East Berlin, circa 1998, say. She should switch heads with this version of herself, and then it would work.
    Then again, this is Rachel McAdams, so really, she’s gorgeous no matter what she does to her hair or face, so: semantics.

  47. cathy

    some people don’t have “make-up face”. she doesn’t, i don’t. she is a beautiful woman, but her features and coloring can’t take whole sephora counter at once. sure, sometimes you want to have more fun with make-up, but count your blessings and be happy that your face is expressive enough with out it

  48. CJ

    I love the dress and she looks fabulous in it. My problem is the hair and makeup. Just a touch of eye makeup and some pretty soft mauve lip balm is all this pretty girl needs and would have been more appropriate for the pastel dress. I also would have liked the hair either a casual up-do with some tendrils falling down or tousled just-got-out-of-bed sexy. This is just too severe.

  49. CJ

    Oh, and she doesn’t need the necklace.

  50. Katharine

    That’s a really great dress. On someone else. Or Rachel without the blonde hair. If she didn’t have her eye makeup set on “Stun” this look would let her totally blend in with the light backdrop. Washed out, unflattering, bad choice.

    And the bangs are a whole world of no.

  51. Softwear

    The dress is fab. Completely unreservedly fab. Everything else? How cougar-adjacent does she look???? My goodness, she’s…what? 35? Way to young to look this washed up.

  52. maria

    I LOVE “The Holiday”!

  53. steph527

    A full on Monet

  54. Linda

    I have that hair cut and it’s very easy to get into Real Housewives territory if you get too light. She needs to do a darker blonde, get some lowlights and the bangs need to be combed over a little to the side, they’re too heavy.

    The make up is awful.

    OTOH, the dress is adorable, but I would have done strappy silver heels. Pumps with a strapless dress? Not so much.

  55. Kat

    Oh LAWD. I was really hoping the bangs for The Vow were clip on. I see that was a pipe dream. This is god awful.

  56. Emma

    The dress is stunning, and should definitely be worn with red lipstick, but the hair and makeup is otherwise pretty awful. I know she’s naturally dark blonde, but surely her roots aren’t usually THAT dark?

  57. Julia

    I say this every time (because my path to world domination lies through making everyone watch Canadian TV, I guess) but anyone who thinks Rachel McAdams should be blonde needs to watch season 1 of “Slings and Arrows” where she is the best eye candy going, even against the wonder which is Paul Gross.

    (It’s the best thing ever made, that series, and all three of the ingenues are dynamite: Rachel McAdams as the Ophelia, Joan Kelly of Warehouse 13 as the Juliette, and Sarah Polley as the Cordelia in a production of Lear which redefines the term “rolling disaster).

    The dress is pretty, but the hair and make-up are aging past any acceptable level. It could be the perfect look for her with dark hair and a face where you could see her pretty skin.

  58. Marie

    ayyyy she looks just like Joan Collins here!!! Uncanny.

  59. hillary l.

    I put a great deal of thought into this. The dress needs a black belt and black/darker shoes. No necklace, statement clutch. And for the love of all that is holy, a berry lip and (preferably) a dye job.

  60. Suzie

    Her brunette hair in the Vow looks awful (particularly when she has the brown bob, it’s not cute), so I veto that brunette. If it’s the Sherlock Holmes or Wedding Crasher’s brunette, then maybe.

  61. KimB

    I agree that the look has too much going on. I would hem the dress to slightly above the knee, add some strappy metalic sandles and redo the hair into a saucy chignon. Lighter makeup and a bit of sparkle at the neck and wrist to finish the look.

  62. sabina

    ummm has anyone noticed that her bangs are an entirely different shade of blonde than the rest of her hair? what is going on!?!?!?!

  63. lori

    I just want to say that I unabashedly love “Love Actually” and watch it several times a year (including every year when I wrap Christmas presents).

  64. Cranky Old Batt

    Have these women never heard of Insolia?

    It is so, so close to fab. I kind of adore the minty fresh hippie fairy princess vibe of it, but it has so many little things wrong that distract. Honorable mention for a good try. Maybe she will nail a fab look next time.

  65. Abby

    She’s gorgeous, but here, her hair is terrible, and the makeup gun has definitely been turned to whore. Let’s just hope this is an aberration, and she shows up somewhere in two days with a totally different look.

    Moviewise — I really really liked her in Morning Glory, which I thought was supposed to be her launch into headlining better movies. But it didn’t quite pan out, I think?

  66. Sue

    I can’t see anything when her roots are screaming at me like that.

  67. Megan

    Awful color for her. And the shoes don’t fit you’re right. Horrendous. And WHY do celebs always have to wear 5″ heels??? WTF???

  68. Karen

    If you’re tempted to vote “Blah”, first scroll back and look at the Blohan post and compare.

  69. Rubee

    Bad makeup+ bangs+ fancy dog choker+ bimbo dress=Joan Collins

  70. Mo

    Clothes + shoes are a yes.

    Hair + makeup are a no. Dear God. Don’t like this blonde on her, and the lips are way to severe for the rest of it.