Ticket to Paradise
There is a grand total of six movies that George Clooney and Julia Roberts have co-starred in, most notedly of course the American heist comedy Ocean’s Eleven back in 2001 and the subsequent sequel, but now the duo return having gracefully graduated into the “matured parent” castings for Ol Parker’s Ticket to Paradise. Both Clooney and Roberts also work as producers on the film, and there was a reluctance from Universal Studios to succumb to the pressure of selling new projects to streaming services for a pricey package, so has all this optimism and hard work paid off?
David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) have been bitterly divorced for years, but always put their differences aside when matters concern their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), a graduate lawyer about to fly across the world to travel to Bali. At first, the adventure is nothing more than a brief excursion to David and Georgia, but when they receive an email from their daughter announcing her engagement to local seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier), the parents make it their sole aim and duty to sabotage the wedding and prevent their daughter from making the same irrational mistakes they made so many years before.
There is no debate about it, Ticket to Paradise is a classic comedy with one sole purpose: to make you laugh and transport you away to a faraway land for a couple of hours. Calling back to the early 2000s in its style and writing, this is evidently clear as parents embarrass their children, laughs are provided by slapstick faux pas and sequences are edited together with a bright soundtrack in accompaniment. Parker wrote and directed Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again, and you can see glimpses of it in Ticket to Paradise, with the beautiful tropical scenery and happy-go-lucky approach to peril removing any sense of doubt over the direction of the narrative.
And yet, the problem with this approach is the task of presenting something new and original to set the film apart from the others. The movie steadily builds, but ultimately offers nothing new, sticking to the familiar formula that we all know too well and never veering away from its predictable mechanisms and story arc. The saving grace is the chemistry between and performances of both Clooney and Roberts: the screen lights up with their every interaction and you really wouldn’t mind just watching them go through absolutely any script and see what they come up with. Roberts is a marvel, in particular, once again displaying why she is an Academy Award-winner, even when the film in question is a light-hearted romcom.
This is, however, where any detailed analysis of Ticket to Paradise ends. The movie does what it says on the tin and is exactly as the trailer suggests: a simple film filled with laughs, that stars Hollywood icons acting out a story that has been done many times before.
Ticket to Paradise is released nationwide on 20th September 2022.
Watch the trailer for Ticket to Paradise here: