Ticket to Paradise

8 out of 10

Julia Roberts and George Clooney

Hollywood needs more stars like George Clooney and especially Julia Roberts who possess superstar powers which can make any mediocre movie great. That’s exactly what the two of them do in the romcom Ticket to Paradise.

There’s been a decline in romcoms over the years, especially ones that make it to the big screen – the only one that comes to mind right away for 2022 is The Lost City. Ticket to Paradise feels much like a throwback romcom of old: It has a fairly basic, somewhat forgettable though fun story; it has a cast of fun characters to watch; there’s a meet-cute moment; and there are lots of awkward situations (including one with a knife that was rather hilarious, this sentence will make better sense after you see the movie).

Lily Cotton (Kaitlyn Dever) graduates from law school – though, I don’t understand how she could be a lawyer when she is graduating as an undergrad, but I digress. To celebrate, Lily and her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) take a trip to Bali. While on their trip, Lily has a meet-cute moment with a local, Gede (Maxime Bouttier) and the two instantly fall in love – as people do in romcoms.

Lily and Gede, within a couple of weeks of meeting, decide to get married – the movie doesn’t actually show why or how they fell this deep in love. They invite Lily’s divorced and constantly bickering parents David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) to Bali to be part of the wedding.

David and Georgia agree to put their differences aside to support – scratch that – to sabotage their daughter’s wedding because they don’t approve. They do this because both of them are horrible people who would rather sabotage their daughter’s happiest day instead of sitting down and having a conversation about their reservations. Reservations I would have also since Lily and Gede just met, he lives in Bali and what is the daughter going to do after the wedding? Farm seaweed?

Clooney and Roberts are so much fun together, they have a natural chemistry together onscreen – which I assume is something they have offscreen as friends. Them enjoying their time making the movie is clear when watching them onscreen. They make this movie so much more than it is. An earlier scene on an airplane was super hilarious and really set the tone for the rest of the movie.

Ticket to Paradise is full of funny laugh out loud moments. It has some moments that were truly emotional – in the “I’m not crying, you’re crying!” fashion. There’s a scene between Clooney and Lourd early on that is fantastic – though I was super worried it was going to go the wrong way. Then there’s a scene late in the movie between Roberts and Dever that was similarly touching.

Gede and his father (Agung Pindha) share a nice scene together also – I do wish the script would have given Gede’s father more to do on screen, Agung Pindha is full of charisma and deserved more.

One huge callout is Lucas Bravo as the pilot and boyfriend of Georgia. Bravo is absolute hilarious in each and every scene he has.

George Clooney is a giant goofball – it seems like his offscreen personality often gets brought onscreen. I really enjoyed seeing him play football with the kids, his inner-goofball was on full display there.

Kaitlyn Dever, whom I last saw in Rosalind, is great in this Ticket to Paradise (as she was in Rosalind). Similarly, Billie Lourd is also great in Ticket to Paradise. Both are not given enough in the script though and I feel like their talents were wasted.

The cinematography and the views of Queensland, Australia (which stood in for Bali) were breathtaking – the kind of breathtaking that makes me want to take a trip to Queensland.

I enjoyed Ticket to Paradise as it tells a fun story and has characters that grew on me. Is it a classic? Not really, but it is quite enjoyable and entertaining as it is quite funny, sweet, sentimental and heartfelt. And yes, there are bloopers during credits! Omg this is a true throwback movie.

Streamed on Peacock.