(2022) (George Clooney, Julia Roberts) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Romantic Comedy: An openly hostile divorced couple agrees to put their differences aside and join forces to prevent their college graduate daughter from marrying a seaweed farmer she's only just met while vacationing in Bali.
Once upon a time, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) were seemingly happily married, but that only lasted a few years before they divorced. Ever since, Georgia -- who's dating French pilot Paul (LUCAS BRAVO) -- and David -- who's remained single -- openly despise each other.
The only thing they have in common -- beyond that animosity -- is their daughter, Lily (KAITLYN DEVER), who's just graduated from college and plans on becoming a lawyer. But all of that changes when she travels to Bali with her college roommate, Wren (BILLIE LOURD), and Lily lays eyes on Gede (MAXIME BOUTTIER), a handsome young seaweed farmer who grew up there.
The two are instantly smitten and despite having known each other for barely more than a month they plan to get hitched right away. That forces David and Georgia to put their hostilities aside and join forces and travel to Bali to prevent Lily from making what they believe is a decision that won't last and will throw her life away.
- OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
Sometimes, when you're hungry, you want the absolute best, most high-end meal you can find (and afford). Other times, you simply want fast food. And then there are those occasions, usually when things are amiss in your life or the world in general, when you only want comfort food. Something like mac and cheese that's tasty, predictable, and yes...comforting.
The same goes for movies. While I always appreciate and welcome Oscar-caliber offerings, there are times when I crave guilty pleasure junk that's so bad for you that it's somehow good. For many viewers, and especially when things are out of whack, their entertainment escapism choice ends up being comfort movies. You know, the kind that play on the Hallmark channel or simply arrive in the form of something light, uplifting to some degree, and -- most important -- utterly predictable.
If the latter is what you're hungry for, "Ticket to Paradise" is, well, your ticket to just that. Featuring the fourth pairing of Julia Roberts and George Clooney together up on the screen, it's certainly not the greatest flick ever made. And it's far from the worst. But it's the very definition of comfort food cinema featuring attractive leads in a screwball-esque rom-com set in lovely environs and featuring a story where the outcome is a given from the get-go.
As directed by Ol Parker ("Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again") from a script by Daniel Pipski, the film revolves around Roberts and Clooney playing former couple Georgia and David whose end of their marriage and subsequent divorce was so acrid that the two can't stand the sight of each other all these years later. And for reasons that occasionally get quite clunky in terms of plot, they end up seeing a lot of each other in this 100-plus-minute offering.
Their common bond is their daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), who's just graduated from college -- cue her parents ending up being seated together in the crowd of otherwise happy family members -- and heads off with her college roomie and BFF, Wren (Billie Lourd), for some pre-law school R & R in Bali (actually Queensland, Australia standing in for that, but I never would have known).
There, in their meet-cute moment, Lily spots Gede (Maxime Bouttier) who rescues the young ladies from a snorkeling expedition gone wrong. It's love at first sight, so much so that after just a few days on the north side of a month together they've decided to tie the knot. Her parents are horrified that she's going to throw her life away to get hitched to a seaweed farmer. And thus, they decide to put their differences aside and conspire to somehow thwart the nuptials.
And you can pretty much guess exactly where things are headed from there and my guess is that your assumption is spot-on. And that's even with Georgia's French pilot boyfriend (Lucas Bravo) showing up to surprise her both with his appearance and a certain type of long-term commitment ring in his pocket. So, if you're looking for something original or that contains even a minor iota of surprise, this likely isn't going to float your boat, no matter how attractive the setting is or the stars who appear in that.
There's no denying the star-wattage combo power of having Clooney and Roberts back together again, as their chemistry -- both antagonistic and in budding rekindling mode -- is as good as ever. And both have played these sorts of characters -- with all the expected mannerisms and so on -- so many times it's more than second nature to them.
Some might call that nothing more than cashing in a check from hitting a lobbed, slow pitch over the outfield wall, and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. But in terms of comfort food movies, their work and that of the overall film is predictable and tasty enough that "Ticket to Paradise" will have people hungry for just that singing or humming along to the old Eddie Money song of the same name. Nothing great but hitting that comfort spot, the film rates as a 5 out of 10.
Posted October 21, 2022
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