The Austin Chronicle

Ticket to Paradise

Rated PG-13, 104 min. Directed by Ol Parker. Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Maxime Bouttier, Lucas Bravo, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd.

REVIEWED By Sarah Jane, Fri., Oct. 21, 2022

In a year where horror seems to be ruling supreme, some were hoping for a return to the rom-com. Really, this year has been lousy with them. Remember Marry Me? What about The Lost City? Moonshot? Good Luck to You, Leo Grande? How about Mr. Malcolm’s List? Fire Island? I mean, even the Father of the Bride remake? Did I forget your favorite? 2022 was laden with romantic comedies, including now Ticket to Paradise. But, in the immortal words of LL Cool J, “Don’t call it a comeback.”

Lily (Dever) and Wren (Lourd) have just graduated college, and take off to Bali for the summer to unwind before Lily starts her job at a prestigious law firm. While there, Lily meets and falls in love with seaweed farmer, Gede (Bouttier). After a couple months, they decide to marry. Enter Lily’s parents, David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) Cotton. They’ve been divorced for nearly two decades and basically loathe each other. When news reaches them about Lily’s wedding, they fly to Bali and put up a front that they are happy for their daughter, while at the same time plotting to stop the marriage. You know … that old saw. Reunited and it feels so good? Yes and no.

Yes, Roberts and Clooney have real chemistry together, but this movie is hardly breaking any new ground. Ticket to Paradise is funny, sure, but I had only one full-on genuine laugh and that was really because I wasn’t expecting an f-bomb to be shouted at Georgia’s pilot boyfriend, Paul (Bravo, who has great timing and chemistry with Roberts).

No, because, again, there is nothing new here. It would be nice to see something that doesn’t follow the same formula. Look, I didn’t hate Ticket to Paradise. The cast was fine with what they were given, and were all certainly very pretty to look at, as was Australia posing as Bali. But that's not enough to make me recommend it. I guess if a generic, run-of-the-mill rom-com floats your boat, you’d probably enjoy this one. Ticket to Paradise did not, in fact, float my boat.

Well, okay, maybe Bravo and Bouttier did a little.

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