REVIEW: “Ticket to Paradise” (2022)

Aside from its half-fun and half-cringey trailer, “Ticket to Paradise” advertised a potentially fun throwback romantic comedy built on the backs of two Hollywood A-listers. For some of us, it’s hard not to be drawn to the prospect of George Clooney and Julia Roberts hamming it up again on the big screen. And considering both have dialed back their workload in recent years, it’s nice seeing them again even if this is a pretty by-the-numbers romcom.

Built on Clooney’s charm, Roberts’ effervescence, and their effortlessly fun chemistry together, “Ticket to Paradise” (from director Ol Parker) is the kind of movie that calls back to decades ago when mega-stars frequently took these gigs, often between bigger and better projects. The movies were always light and frothy and they stuck to a pretty strict formula. Eventually these movies ran their course and were even looked down upon as tastes went a little more highbrow.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Don’t get me wrong. Like many other people, I too grew tired of these uninspired studio products and haven’t exactly been longing for their return. That said, I did feel a slight tingle of nostalgia when “Ticket to Paradise” was announced. I like Clooney and Roberts and seeing them together in one of these romcom concoctions of yesteryear wasn’t the worst thing in the world. And for me personally, sometimes I enjoy stepping away from the heavier stuff and taking in something like this.

Well, I can honestly say that “Ticket to Paradise” didn’t disappoint. Not because it’s something extraordinary, but because it’s exactly the kind of movie you think it is. It’s strongly beholden to the well-known romantic comedy formula, both in its handling of characters and in its storytelling. And it’s a movie where you know exactly how things are going to play out. Nothing will catch you by surprise. You’ll have figured out the ending before the opening credits have finished. But that will hardly bother the audience the film is aiming for.

Clooney plays a Chicago architect named David Cotton. Roberts plays a Los Angeles art dealer named Georgia. The two have been divorced for five years, and in this case time has not healed their wounds. It’s safe to say David and Georgia detest each other. Each blame the other for their split. Each relish the opportunity to degrade their former spouse. Together they’re an undeniably toxic recipe, but Clooney and Roberts, along with co-writers Parker and Daniel Pipski, offer up some pretty hilarious verbal jabs, needles, and takedowns, with both stars playing off each other extremely well.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The lone bit of joy David and Georgia share is their daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) who takes a trip to Bali with her best friend, Wren (Billie Lourd) to celebrate their recent graduation from law school. While there, Lily meets and falls in love with a local seaweed farmer named Gede (Maxime Bouttier). Only 37 days later, David and Georgia get emails from Lily informing them that she and Gede are engaged. Convinced Lily is throwing her life away, David and Georgia hop a plane for Bali, reluctantly join forces, and hatch a plan to discourage their daughter from getting hitched. Hijinks ensue.

Parker soaks us in crystal blue waters and lush green forests (courtesy of Queensland, Australia) so we always have something pretty to look at. Meanwhile the story plays out like your typical crowdpleaser, hitting most of the notes and checking most of the boxes. The antics range from cute and amusing to facepalm worthy. But the sheer star wattage of Clooney and Roberts keep the movie afloat. Their individual presences mixed with their smile-inducing chemistry ensure that those going to see “Ticket to Paradise” leave with exactly what they came for. “Ticket to Paradise” is now showing in theaters.


14 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Ticket to Paradise” (2022)

  1. Yeah, it’s unoriginal but so what? Julia Roberts and George Clooney hamming it up as a divorced couple and then lose their shit when they get drunk? What’s not to enjoy? My mother would want to see this.

  2. Pingback: REVIEW: “Ticket to Paradise” (2022) — Keith & the Movies – Reaching out; one person at a time

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