<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Ol Parker. Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Maxime Bouttier, Billie Lourd, Lucas Bravo

It’s always a treat to watch Julia Roberts; I can’t remember a film she was in that was bad. And add to that there’s George Clooney, who’s always sunshine on screen.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Ticket to Paradise

Ticket to Paradise leans more in to the ‘com’ part of the rom-com genre with the jokes working well thanks to the timing and finesse of the actors. This could easily have become a B-grade rom-com.

Roberts and Clooney are Georgia and David, the proud separated-parents of Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) who has just graduated college and wants to become a lawyer. But before that she heads off on a trip to Bali with her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) to unwind. While there she is rescued from the shimmering waters by a handsome seaweed farmer named Gede (Maxime Bouttier) and immediately falls in love and gets engaged to him. Her parents are, of course, aghast and rush over to the island paradise – setting aside their hatred for each other – to make sure the marriage doesn’t happen so their daughter can live her dream life and not make a ‘mistake’ like they did.

Kaitlyn Dever and Maxime Bouttier in Ticket to Paradise

The slapstick humour and burning insults start to fly as Georgia’s handsome French boyfriend airplane pilot Paul (Lucas Bravo) joins them on the island and strange situations start presenting themselves to show them all that love must triumph. Unfortunately there’s not much romance between Lily and Gede who are really just a means to and end: showing Georgia and David that their mistake isn’t doomed to repeat itself and that they must realise the good things they shared and not lose the good things they have.

There are plenty of witty comebacks in the movie, endearing moments and some very silly situations and dialogue. But you let it slide because of the believability and credibility of this combo, not because of the lack of plot and plan to sabotage the wedding by hiding the rings! The young couple are cute but bland. The best friend Wren played by Billie Lourd is very good and I wish she had more to do in the movie. Lucas Bravo as the goody-clumsy boyfriend-you-know-won’t-get-the-girl is lovely but reduced to a one dimensional caricature.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Ticket to Paradise

You can’t leave the theatre without a smile on your face though. It’s just that actors like Julia Roberts and even George Clooney are so good to watch. They make you happy inside and long for days when movies moved you and romance was real and comedy was intelligent.

PS: I especially liked the Balinese traditions and family focus (Gede’s family in contrast to Lily’s works well) in the film that brought an intimacy and warmth to it.

Watch the trailer here:

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