Ticket to Paradise Review
With the release of Marry Me, Bros and now Ticket to Paradise studios in 2022 are hedging their bets that the romantic comedy genre isn't dead, it's just been dormant. Ticket to Paradise casts two of Hollywood's biggest stars in Julia Roberts and George Clooney to sell this second-chance love story of a divorced couple uniting with a common goal-- to prevent the whirlwind wedding of their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever). Can the two make this destination worth the trip, or is this a one-way ticket to disaster? Now that I have my vacation puns out of the way, let's get to the movie!
Roberts and Clooney star as Georgia and David, a pair of bickering exes who share an incredibly booksmart daughter named Lily (see what I did there?). For the past few years, she's dedicated her life to law school and finally is allowing herself to have a little fun after she graduates by spending some time in Bali on a girls' trip with her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd). But Lily's plans of pursuing a career change when she's swept off her feet with love at first sight by a charming local named Gede (Maxime Bouttier). She informs her parents by email that she's going to marry her new beau and invites her family to Bali to meet him and attend the wedding. Determined to stop their daughter from making the biggest mistake of her life by throwing away her career for a guy she barely knows, her parents make their way to Bali to do what only Julia Roberts can do best: ruin a wedding.
Ticket to Paradise treads well-worn territory. It feels very familiar which makes the viewer feel a bit at home. It doesn't so much feel like a 2022 new release, but rather a movie we've seen a dozen times that came out in 2002. Its stars fall back on their reliable charm, and along with its stunning location (and therefore lovely cinematography), it's a very breezy watch. Movie comfort food that doesn't get made quite as much anymore (at least for big-screen viewing). But does that make it a good movie?
Ticket to Paradise is an enjoyable watch, but definitely not without its flaws. At its core, the film is basic and predictable though absolutely elevated by its charming performances--so it's hard to be too mad at it. Honestly, it's just fun to see Clooney and Roberts in these types of roles again and bantering off one another, even if they deserve to be in a better movie together. Supporting performances here are also good with Billie Lourd and Lucas Bravo adding some nice moments of levity, though both could have been written to be a little less one note. Kaitlyn Dever and Maxime Bouttier didn't really sell me on a burning connection that would inspire a complete life change in a matter of two months, but were fine otherwise.
Ultimately, Ticket to Ride left me with a lot of questions. Do I think that their daughter still is going to end up regretting her life one day? Yes. Do I think some things happened too fast between Clooney and Roberts without enough proper build-up of chemistry? Also yes. Am I still glad that people are making movies this wholesome and that big stars are agreeing to be in them, even though it's not perfect? Definitely, yes. All in all, it's a decent enough, if unmemorable bonne voyage.