Ticket to Paradise Review: George Clooney, Julia Roberts bring back cliched rom-coms we love to love
Ticket to Paradise chronicles divorced couple David and Georgia Cotton (George Clooney, Julia Roberts), who can’t see eye-to-eye on anything, especially when it comes to their darling daughter Lily Cotton (Kaitlyn Dever). 25 years after their marriage – they split five years after – David and Georgia are in for a shock because Lily plans to marry a seaweed farmer named Gede (Maxime Bouttier), who she met in Bali during her graduation break. David and Georgia reluctantly call in a temporary truce and work together to sabotage their daughter’s wedding, fearing that Lily will make the same mistake they made 25 years ago. What follows is one hilarious mishap after another, which also brings David and Georgia closer together, even if they try wholeheartedly not to.
Ticket to Paradise belongs solely to George Clooney and Julia Roberts‘ crackling chemistry that comes blazing through in every scene. Whether it be drunk dancing after beer pong games and embarrassing their daughter or laughing at each other’s miseries like getting bitten by a dolphin; the two are fire on ice. Also, a plus point is the aesthetic “Australia-turned-Bali” cinematography that is sure to reel you in but never once feels overindulgent like a tourism ad. Even if the characters keep mentioning how it’s “the best place on Earth.” While some dialogues reach their saturation levels, overall, the writing by Ol Parker and Daniel Pipski is sure to tickle your funny bones just right, particularly when Clooney and Roberts are given free rein to duke it out.
While Ticket to Paradise brings back the love for romantic comedies, it also suffers from the “seen all that” syndrome and there’s nothing fresh to the genre that the movie offers. The supporting cast isn’t as memorable as they are teased and even has the potential to be, with talented stars like Billie Lourd and Lucas Bravo at the short end of the stick.
This reviewer has been craving a good romantic comedy to sink her teeth into and Ticket to Paradise delivers in spades. Given the harshness attached to reality, nowadays, we turn to movies to give us a sense of escapism. What works for Ticket to Paradise as the ideal escapist film, which director Ol Parker swiftly understands, is that it doesn’t try too hard to be creative in an overtly popular genre, but rather uses the formulaic approach and relies heavily on the electric chemistry between its bankable leads, who don’t disappoint. George Clooney and Julia Roberts are at a point in their career where they can deliver the cheesiest of dialogues like an emotionally-stirring conversation through words, or better yet, even without it.
One on hand, we have Clooney’s David, the cynical middle-aged man who has a quirky comeback ready at a moment’s notice. Using his sarcastic wit to the fullest, George seamlessly works through David’s quirks with ease. On the other hand, her effortless performance as Georgia makes us realise yet again that Julia Roberts is the ultimate queen when it comes to romantic comedies. She is quite literally the breath of fresh air, with her million-dollar smile in all its glory, that is sure to leave you captivated, especially when it’s the close-up shots. Together, the pair brings an emotional quotient to their bickering ex-couple characters that bring nuanced relatability, no matter how old they are.
When it comes to the supporting cast, Kaitlyn Dever is just the right amount of likeable to draw you in while Maxime Bouttier is a charming delight. They make you believe why it was love at first sight for Lily and Gede. Two performances which could have packed a punch but were reduced to caricaturish characters were that of Billie Lourd and Lucas Bravo, who plays Lily’s best friend Wren Butler and Georgia’s hot pilot boyfriend Paul, respectively. On the downside, those looking for quality storytelling will be left disappointed because Ticket to Paradise doesn’t experiment, but rather imitates and doesn’t even attempt to be unpredictable.
Bali plays a major narrative arc in Ticket to Paradise, hence, it may come as a surprise for the audience to know that the shoot took place entirely in Australia – owing to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, thanks to Ole Bratt Birkeland’s expansive cinematography and Owen Paterson’s production design, you genuinely believe it’s Bali, heaven on earth. Also to be acknowledged is how the Balinese culture was bestowed with appropriate representation, especially during the wedding rituals.
Ticket to Paradise may seem like the direct-to-streaming type of movie at first glance, but it turned out to be a pleasant treat and a joyful experience to watch on the big screen while not having to worry about decoding anything. It’s also refreshing to see a guaranteed happy ending in a very long time on such a commercial scale. There is a binge-able quality attached to Ticket to Paradise which you may revisit from time to time.
- George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ crackling chemistry.
- Bringing back the old-school romantic comedies that we love to revisit from time to time.
- Escapism by offering a happy ending storyline, something we sorely need in movies.
In conclusion, Ticket to Paradise is a heartwarming romantic comedy, instilled with tons of nostalgia and a lead pair that proves old is forever gold.