“Ticket to Paradise”

There isn’t anything surprising, unpredictable, or particularly original in “Ticket to Paradise,” director and co-writer Ol Parker‘s cookie cutter romantic comedy that’s as pedestrian as they come. It’s a standard-issue movie that was obviously designed to be a crowd-pleaser, and is the type of film that most people will see and enjoy, leaving the theater feeling happy. A project like this is supposed to deliver feel-good entertainment, and it succeeds. 

Divorced couple David (George Clooney) and his ex-wife Georgia (Julia Roberts) have had a contentious relationship for over a decade. They don’t get along well and have avoided seeing each other for years. When their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) graduates from college, the duo try to keep things civil during the ceremony (with limited success), after which everyone goes their separate ways. Less than a month later, David and Georgia get a shocking message from Lily, who has been spending time in Bali. Their lovestruck daughter has announced her surprise (and perhaps mistake) engagement to local boy Gede (Maxime Bouttier), proclaiming her intention to get married within the week. The estranged couple decide to reconnect on a mission to stop Lily from making the same mistake they did when they were younger, and they head to Indonesia with plans to sabotage the wedding.

It’s a cute and predictable narrative that’s been done many times before, a familiar story that’s told in a conventional way. The film has some nice, if uncomplicated, moments, and there are loads of pedestrian mom-friendly jokes and formulaic plot points in a script that’s far from challenging. But there’s a big difference between simplicity and stupidity, and with the exception of one dumb scene (David is attacked by a horribly animated CGI dolphin), most of the film works because it never tries to be something it’s not.

The real reason to see this movie are the leads, as it is an enjoyable vehicle for fans of Roberts and Clooney. Even after all these years, the duo is a delight to watch onscreen because their star power remains formidable. They have an effortless rapport and chemistry (which likely is a result of the pair being real-life friends) that’s natural and organic, which is a joy to see. I’m not really sure either of them are acting much in this film, because it feels like they agreed to star in the project so they could treat is as vacation shoot in Bali. It’s clear they are having a blast, which translates to a fun time for the audience, too.

“Ticket to Paradise” doesn’t offer much in terms of creativity or surprises, but it’s a warm, big-hearted story about second chances, listening to your heart and the bittersweet bliss of making supposed mistakes. 

By: Louisa Moore

3 comments

  1. A slight correction, Louisa. Australia ‘stood-in’ for Bali during the time when COVID was rampant. The Australian Government added a $6 million inducement which proved to be a very good move. The local economy GAINED $47 million as a result of local expenditure.
    The movie was lame and predictable but at least the scenery was nice and the water inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

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