Ticket to Paradise – movie review

Heavyweights Julia Roberts and George Clooney work together for the sixth time on the feel-good romcom Ticket to Paradise. And their chemistry remains strong.

Twenty-five years ago a love story between David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) played out, which saw them marry and soon after have a child. That daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), is about to graduate from college. David and Georgia separated acrimoniously five years after they married. Although they strictly keep their distance, that’s not happening at the graduation ceremony. They continue to take pot shots at one another, even though they both love their daughter dearly.

Now Lily is headed for a holiday to Bali with her best friend and roommate Wren (Billie Lourd). Once there, Lily falls heads over heels for a local seaweed fisherman, Gede (Maxime Bouttier), which totally upends her life … in a good way. Next thing you know, Lily has given up her starting position at a law practice and decided to wed the man of her dreams and live in Bali. She invites her parents to the wedding, which they intend to sabotage by sleuth. Hijinks abound. In the process, David and Georgia come to realise that their spark hasn’t been totally extinguished.

Ol Parker (Mama Mia! Here We Go Again) is the co-writer (with Daniel Pipski) and director of Ticket to Paradise. The script is filled with sugar and spice and all things nice (and predictable). Nevertheless, I found myself laughing out loud a number of times.

Clooney is debonair and makes everything look effortlessly simple. His smile charms and disarms. Roberts seems to enjoy her barbed back-and-forth with Clooney and she certainly gives as good as she gets.

A gorgeous looking picture, cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland has done himself proud. Ticket to Paradise was primarily shot in the Whitsundays, which substituted for Bali. Hopefully both tourist destinations benefit enormously as a result.

I’m a sucker for this kind of lightweight, by-the-book fare. Even though it’s make-believe, the romantic in me simply wishes this style of “happily ever after” was true. Ticket to Paradise is easy on the eye – a pleasant distraction, a soft, entertaining romp.

Alex First

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