Ticket to Paradise
Sep 25, 2022
Ol Parker, Daniel Pipski
George Clooney, Julia Roberts
Rom-com movies stir many different emotions for those who care to watch them. Fans of the genre love stories that tug at the heart strings and expose their more sensitive side. The best ones make us laugh, cry and then smile as the customary happy ending is served with a generous helping of sentiment. The warm glow of satisfaction is all we need for the full thumbs up. This new film by Ol Parker just about nails it but owes much to the star power of the leads.
Lily Cotton (Kaitlyn Dever) has just finished law school but is dreading graduation day as her divorced parents are seated next to each other. David (George Clooney) is a successful architect whilst Georgia (Julia Roberts) is an art dealer of some renown. They trade insults and go their separate ways, much to the relief of Lily who jets off to Bali before starting work at a Chicago law firm.
However, the estranged couple join forces when they realise Lily has not only fallen in love with Bali but also the local seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier). Georgia is determined Lily should not make the same mistake she made 25 years previously. David grudgingly agrees as they land in Bali for the wedding. However, the experience makes them re-evaluate their own relationship as Lily's nuptials approach.
Ol Parker directed ‘Mama Mia! here we go again’ and has applied the same principle here. Grab some A-listers and take them to a spectacular location. In this case it's Australia's Gold Coast convincingly standing in for Bali. There's no question the formula works but relies on the obvious chemistry between Clooney and Roberts. They are a charming combination and rapidly assuming a mantle once held by Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Take them out of this film and we are left with just the location and a mediocre script.
The plotline relies on a tried and trusted rom-com device; the divorced couple who seemingly hate each other but deep down inside are still madly in love. Lily is a reminder of the one thing they got right and find solace in a shared history. There's something predictable but also very comforting about ‘Ticket to Paradise’. It finishes on a high with a few laughs along the way thanks to George and Julia.