Star Rating:

Ticket To Paradise

Director: OI Parker

Actors: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever

Release Date: Friday 16th September 2022

Genre(s): Comedy, Romance

Running time: 103 minutes

David and Georgia (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) are happily divorced parents to Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). When she sets off to Bali after graduating with her best friend (Billie Lourd), what turns out to be a restful and relaxing holiday in fact becomes a whirlwind romance and, eventually, a marriage proposal with a local seaweed farmer (Maxime Bouttier). Determined not to let their daughter throw away a promising career and her life in the States, the parents take off to Bali and grudgingly agree to set aside their differences...

For such a storied genre with so many impressive critical and commercial hits, the romantic comedy has migrated entirely to streaming in the last ten years. You still have some great examples working their way out, most recently with the likes of 'Always Be My Maybe' and 'Palm Springs'. There have only been a handful that have enjoyed a major theatrical release in the past ten years, with 'Crazy Rich Asians' being the most successful critically and commercially of the bunch.

'Ticket To Paradise' arrives into cinemas at a strange time for them, with the likes of 'Top Gun: Maverick' still clinging on in some cinemas, re-releases like 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' taking up real estate, and various smaller-scale dramas and horrors on the horizon. Yet, George Clooney and Julia Roberts together in a rom-com is a cinema event and deserves a theatrical release. Moreover, it's exactly the kind of movie you frequently hear people complaining that they don't make anymore - a good old-fashioned romantic comedy with a charming cast, a witty script, and a gorgeous location to take in.

Everything about 'Ticket To Paradise' feels like it could have been produced ten years, twenty years ago, or even thirty years ago when Roberts and Clooney were on the go with the likes of 'Mystic Pizza' and 'One Fine Day' respectively. Clooney plays A Successful Architect™ while Roberts plays An Important Art Gallery Person™ who divorced prior to the movie and are very much happily divorced. Kaitlyn Dever, meanwhile, excels in her role as the precocious but still formidable daughter, and the dynamic she shares with both of them works well. Really, though, where 'Ticket To Paradise' gets its power is from Roberts and Clooney riffing off each other with ease.

The pair are masters in this genre, and after so long away from it, neither Roberts nor Clooney miss a step. They're both able to slip into the snappy dialogue and the physical pratfalls with complete ease and style. While Clooney may have more experience via his time with the Coens, Roberts is just as adept at yukking it up when required. Indeed, director Ol Parker, and the script from him and Daniel Pipski, gives them all the time and space they need for it.

'Ticket To Paradise' doesn't try to reinvent the wheel and it's not subverting the genre. It's not taxing the brain, or even trying to be anything other than what it is - an old-school romantic comedy. People who love old-school romantic comedies will love this because it's very much that with two titans of the genre. Anyone who's remotely incredulous won't be able to take it on. Ultimately, the failings with 'Ticket To Paradise' are equally its strengths - it's incredibly predictable, it's utterly unbelievable, and it's following a rigid structure with little or no deviation from it.