Review: Ticket to Paradise

There’s a certain species of Hollywood movie that seems designed to please those who work on it more than those who will eventually watch it. I’m not talking about movies where the stars are simply guaranteed huge amounts of money, but rather projects they can get through with the minimum amount of effort, have fun in the process, and make huge amounts of money. This middling romcom’s only reason to exist is to bring George Clooney and Julia Roberts together again to laugh at each other and their situations, and viewers susceptible to that kind of come-on will likely find the experience of sitting through it painless, maybe even enjoyable. But does that really mean it has a reason to exist?

The two stars play a long-divorced couple, David and Georgia, who conspire to wreck the wedding of the only thing their brief marriage produced that still means anything, their daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), who has apparently decided to toss her law degree and impulsively wed the local seaweed farmer, Gede (Maxime Bouttier), she met on vacation in Bali following her graduation. David and Georgia, who, naturally, each have high-powered, high-paying careers, decide to bury the hatchet for the time being in order to prevent their daughter from rushing into a marriage she will later regret, just like they once did. Avid romcom fans will be predisposed to react positively to the various comic and sentimental devices used throughout the script: the carefully timed bickering interludes between the two stars, Lily and Gede’s demonstration that true love is a greater power than career ambition (thus confounding her parents’ own life choices), and the various funny bits contributed by supporting players, including Lily’s requisite best friend (Wren Butler). 

It’s not saying much that Clooney and Roberts create “chemistry” while Dever and Bouttier don’t. In fact, I would guess that this dynamic was built into the production, because the only thing that seems to be more vital to the filmmakers than making sure the two stars are happy and loving every minute of their time together on (and off) screen is presenting Bali as the perfect post-COVID travel destination. Clooney and Roberts, in addition to the big paychecks, get actual free tickets to paradise for what amounts to a working vacation.

Opens Nov. 3 in Tokyo at Toho Cinemas Nihonbashi (050-6868-5060), Toho Cinemas Hibiya (050-6868-5068), Toho Cinemas Shinjuku (050-6868-5063), Toho Cinemas Shibuya (050-6868-5002), Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills (050-6868-5024).

Ticket to Paradise home page in Japanese

photo (c) 2022 Universal Studios

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2 Responses to Review: Ticket to Paradise

  1. padraigjapan says:

    Thank you. Going to see this tomorrow with the family. Their choice.

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