Director: Ol Parker
Writers: Ol Parker and Daniel Pipski
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Mazime Bouttier, and Lucas Bravo
George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite for the funny and heart-warming romcom Ticket to Paradise. A very easy-watching comedy that makes for a great time, something that’s perfect to just switch off to and enjoy, mainly due to how great the performances are.
After graduating Lily Cotton (Kaitlyn Dever) travels to Bali with her best friend before setting forth to become a lawyer. While she’s there, Lily starts to question her path in life once she falls head over heels in love with Gede (Maxime Bouttier). Her divorced and forever bickering parents, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts), are shocked to hear that their daughter is due to be married, and travel to Bali to try and stop the wedding, putting aside their rivalry to work together.
The film is a blast to watch. It’s not doing anything that original, but it is very well made and incredibly funny. From the opening scene with David and Georgia recounting their engagement from two opposing angles to different friends, right through to the final moment, there’s plenty of laughs. Even the credits are funny with a blooper reel playing alongside them. The setting of Bali is also perfect for the low-stakes comedy, being absolutely gorgeous to look at, and seems like it’s literal paradise.
While the comedy is front and centre, there’s also a more sentimental and sweet side to everything that becomes more prevalent as the film reaches the final act. It all works so well because of how great the characters are. George Clooney and Julia Roberts are absolutely fantastic, with great chemistry between them that feels completely authentic, which probably comes from how long they’ve known each other in real life. Their constant bickering and quips at each other are really funny, and also feel natural. When you first meet the characters it’s hard to believe they were once in love, but by having the common goal of stopping their daughter from rushing into marriage like they did, they start to remember what they liked about each other in the first place and it’s just that life got in the way. It also has to be said that Billie Lourd is also great as Lily’s best friend, Wren. She’s not ready to be an adult and has some of the moments of the film as she drinks her way through most scenes.
There’s no real surprises in film, with the usual rom-com structure being used. As you’d expect, there’s some conflict, but nothing too major and everything works out in the end. This isn’t reinventing the genre, but it’s really well made and manages to side-step some of the usual pitfalls. Gede knows about David’s and Georgia’s plan almost straight away. The relationship between Lily and Gede is also really solid right the way through, with only the smallest of wobbles, and there’s no grand and dramatic Austenesque gesture needed towards the end.
Ticket to Paradise is an instant classic romcom and one of the funniest films of the year. Clooney and Roberts are superb together. Hopefully this will give new life to the genre.
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