Ticket to Paradise Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
This tropical rom-com, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, surprises with actually funny jokes and impeccable chemistry!
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Director: Ol Parker
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Maxime Bouttier, Billie Lourd, Dorian Djoudi, Cintya Dharmayanti & Lucas Bravo.
Run Time: 104 min.
US Release: 21 October 2022
UK Release: 20 September 2022
German Release: 15 September 2022
Last night was date night and since my girlfriend is a big fan of Julia Roberts, while I myself can appreciate a good Clooney performance, we decided to watch the newest rom-com, from director Ol Parker. I saw the trailers for this a few months ago, so I was honestly speaking prepared for one of the most mundane romantic comedies. While it does have a good load of genre clichés, I was honestly surprised at how much it kept me entertained. So grab your snorkelling gear and dive with me into this review for Ticket to Paradise!
Two divorced parents who can't stand each other, fly together to Bali to stop their daughter from marrying a local islander. They decide to put their differences aside and work together to sabotage the engagement, believing that doing so will keep her from making the same mistake they did 25 years ago.
Ticket to Paradise is written by Parker himself, together with Daniel Pipski, telling the same old love story that has been told a million times before; a former couple who broke up because they were too different, though now, years later, under the proper circumstances the old flame could reignite. It is a romance trope done to death and this script follows every cliché possible, making it pretty foreseeable and holding no surprises.
That said, it did astonish in regards to humour because this is a funnier movie than I had anticipated. A lot of it has to do with the casting, which I’ll come to further down below, yet one also needs to give props to the writing duo, who managed to stage these scenes in their script brilliantly! Doing comedy isn’t easy, but this flick does pull it off.
Other than that, the narrative has little else to offer. It uses a couple of platitudes about living one's life, by following one’s dreams, though these are embedded so plump into the plot, it comes off more forced than natural. Then there are segments, which try to include a more dramatic tone, but it feels again unnatural. It is a simple tale easily forgotten again.
The dialogues are kept light-hearted plus easy. There are no complex conversations or philosophical aspects that need to be discussed. Everything is said pretty much straightforward.
As stated before, a lot of the comedy works due to the back-and-forth between George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who have worked several times together before. Both clearly have fun acting side-by-side again in a project, as their chemistry is the key point that keeps the plot flowing forward. It was terrific to see both in lighter, more humorous roles.
George Clooney as David Cotton is electrifying. It is noticeable that he is enjoying his character, never shying away from making a fool of himself now and then, though never sinking into cringe levels. Clooney is funny but never loses his distinguished style. David is the embittered ex-husband of Georgia, as well as the loving father of Lily. Having lost hope for love after divorcing Georgia, he believes that his daughter is making a terrible mistake by marrying someone she barely knows and projects his insecurities on his mission.
Julia Roberts plays the opposite role to Clooney, as his ex-wife Georgia. Roberts, just like her acting partner, never backs down to make fun of herself, though she also does it with a lot of elegance. Georgia, having found a new partner in Paul (played by Lucas Bravo), seems to have pushed past her marriage with David, although it quickly becomes clear that she is only together with him due to the attention she obtains plus it drives David crazy.
Kaitlyn Dever portrays Lily, doing a good enough job as the daughter of David and Georgia Cotton. She is likeable, as well as convincing when it comes to the family dynamic, yet doesn’t really break out, thus is being shoved into a more generic role. Lily’s main conflict is with her parents, who always seem to know what is best for her, while all she wishes for is that both respect her decision/wishes.
As the title suggests, the cinematography makes full use of wide panoramic shots, to gather the full beauty of the location in picturesque scenes. I have to inform you, however, that this flick was not shot in Indonesia. It was filmed fully in different parts of Australia, then cut together to make it look like Bali. The colour palette makes use of a balanced saturation, which compliments the scenery. This is standard camera work plus editing, that looks good.
Make-up and wardrobe replicate the traditional Bali style, especially concerning the wedding. The wooden shacks in between palm trees, invite people to immerse themselves in the setting and dream of a tropical vacation.
The musical score, composed by Lorne Balfe, plays quietly in the background while being easily forgettable, just like the film as a whole! The inclusion of pop songs cheapens the whole experience a little.
Verdict: This latest rom-com was more entertaining than I expected. Yes, it is easy entertainment with a straightforward, predictable story that is filled to the top with clichés! However, the comedic back-and-forth between Julia Roberts and George Clooney is impeccable! The dramatic points are a little too plumb, just like the message about “not delaying what makes you happy”. It simply didn’t feel organic to the rest of the narrative. Kaitlyn Dever plays rather a side role, not adding much to the story, apart from being the gimmick that brings both parents back together. The scenery is beautiful and the music compositions of pop songs. If you like light entertainment that holds no unexpected twists or revelations, this might be the movie for you. I had more fun watching than I initially anticipated, and will grant Ticket to Paradise a 6.0 out of 10.
Have you seen this romantic comedy yet? What did you think? Do you agree with my review? Thanks for reading & if you like these reviews, click the subscribe button!