The Stream: A boring, ridiculous plot with very little that is actually funny.
The Big Screen: The beautiful scenery of Bali
The Final Bill: This silly, predictable and humorless romantic comedy has little romance and comedy; and we deserve better from George Clooney and Julia Roberts.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Ol Parker
Writers: Ol Parker, Daniel Pipski
Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Maxime Bouttier, Lucas Bravo
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating: PG-13 for some strong language and brief suggestive material
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
Platform: In theaters October 21, 2022
Notable Trailers: A Man Called Otto, Armageddon Time, Jesus Revolution, She Said
Om suastiastu, Streamers! It seems like romantic comedies are few and far between at the box office these days. I don’t know what’s happened to this very popular genre. There have been some classics over the years and some absolute duds. Now, most of this genre is consumed by the carbon copy factory of the Hallmark Channel. Anyway, Julia Roberts used to be the queen of the rom com; and now, she’s back with her old pal, George Clooney, for Ticket to Paradise. Here’s whether Roberts and Clooney can revive this ailing genre.
In Ticket to Paradise, Julia Roberts stars as Georgia Cotton, whose daughter, Lily (Dever), graduates from college and goes off to Bali for post-graduation vacation before she begins working as a lawyer. George Clooney plays David Cotton, Lily’s father and Georgia’s ex-husband. David and Georgia, even after almost 20 years of being divorced, cannot stand each other and can barely be in the same time zone without fighting. When Lily decides to give up her career as a lawyer in order to stay in Bali to marry Gede (Bouttier), a local seaweed farmer, David and Georgia have to band together to stop the wedding and bring their daughter back to the United States. Banter and sabotage ensue.
What is best about Ticket to Paradise is the paradise part. Bali looks beautiful and enticing. If this were a tourism video for the destination, then it is completely successful. The movie makes it understandable why Lily would want to stay in such a peaceful and vibrant location.
On the other hand, the movie suffers from being basic. It is the same old story that you know how it will end from the moment it begins. There really aren’t any surprises or funny things that happen in this romantic comedy. The parents’ attempts at sabotage were done better in the Julia Roberts classic, My Best Friend’s Wedding. In this movie, the plot chugs along because it has to and mercifully it is not a very long movie. What’s worse is that the movie is forgettable.
While Dever and Bouttier have nice chemistry, I don’t get the romantic feeling from their pairing. They seem to be together because the movie requires it. Would this girl really give up everything she was working towards for this guy? I don’t know. While Roberts and Clooney have an easy charm with each other, the characters are so caustic and mean to each other no amount of personal chemistry between the big stars convincingly makes these characters fall into any kind of romantic situation. The acerbic banter is cringeworthy and not funny at any point. It’s tiresome and annoying. Who wants to sit around for an hour and a half with a divorced couple bickering endlessly. Not me! I will say it is nice to see Julia Roberts in a movie like this again. I only wish it were better because she does have nice moments here and there. Clooney’s alright, I guess.
For me and the non-Roberts and Clooney stans, I would not go to the theater to see Ticket to Paradise. While it’s nice to see Roberts and Clooney on a big screen again, I wish it were in a better movie. This one will be on some streaming service some day soon, so keep your one popped kernel for that rainy day. For real Julia Roberts and George Clooney stans, I guess you’ll like this because you’ll like anything they are in, and this movie is just whatever. For real, only pay for a matinee, don’t spend your date night money on this one – just a bowl of popcorn.