Movie review: Clooney, Roberts return to rom-com in 'Ticket to Paradise'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Oct 06 2022 08:46 AM

Julia Roberts and George Clooney in 'Ticket to Paradise'
Julia Roberts and George Clooney in 'Ticket to Paradise'

After being divorced and estranged for 20 years, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) get back together again for the occasion of the graduation of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) from law school. They were bickering the whole time during the ceremony much to Lily's consternation. Before going off to work in a top law firm, Lily and her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) decided to go on a grand vacation in the beaches of Bali first. 

There, Lily met native boy Gede (Maxime Bouttier) when he rescued them in his motor boat after an unfortunate incident with their own boat. Lily and Gede fell instantly in love at first sight, and not long after, they suddenly decide to get married. Alarmed with the news, David and Georgia get together again to fly to Bali, both trying to whip up the best plan to throw a wrench into the wedding plans so that they can take Lily back to the US with them. 

The story was very formulaic and familiar -- already done and re-done in countless rom-coms in the past. Girl meets boy, they plan to get married, her parents can't accept it, so they do everything so that the wedding won't happen -- is this not practically the plot of "Father of the Bride"? The parents were already divorced, but, you can likely predict what happens to people who hate each other after being trapped in an island paradise.

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The main draw of this film, of course, are the A-list superstars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who both looked great and whose chemistry together was as strong as ever. They knew each other and these characters of David and Georgia like the back of their hand. They certainly looked like they had a lot of fun throwing insults at each together, or making fools of themselves, as they did in that crazy beer pong scene. 

Boomer audiences can likely identify with the concerns of parents David and Georgia when their daughter just suddenly decided to abandon her law degree and marry a seaweed farmer halfway around the world. Their conversations about what happened to their relationship during their marriage and what they have learned since then could also strike a chord among couples who had been married for more than 20 years. 

I could not help but imagine how could it have been if the producers had chosen a Philippine island instead of Bali. Aside from boosting tourism, it would have been a better showcase for the Filipino language than "Easter Sunday." It would have been nice to see a Hollywood interpretation of Filipino wedding traditions. there could have been a Filipino leading man, instead of French-Indonesian model Maxime Bouttie. But alas, this was not to be.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."