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Ticket to Paradise (2022) | Review

Ticket to Boredom

Rating: 2.5/5

By Emma Havia

There are many movies set in paradise, but a promise of paradise alone does not provide escapism. In a long line of hollow but glossy-looking Hollywood films, Ticket to Paradise is in good company. The story follows George Clooney and Julia Roberts as the divorced parents of a 20-something woman that has just graduated from university and travels to Bali with her friend, only to fall in love with a local seaweed farmer. When the wedding invitation comes through the parents decide to bury the hatchet and plot together to separate the couple and stop their daughter from making the same mistake they did at her age—getting married.

As an indulger in mindless escapism I wish there was something of substance to say but it’s difficult to churn butter from air. The film wasn’t bad enough to be good but it wasn’t good enough to justify its existence either. Certainly, it wasn’t worth paying or staying at the theatre for. If you are a person who will, if the option is available, pick a store-bought white untoasted piece of bread over a slice of fresh baked loaf, then perhaps this film is for you.

Courtesy of IMDb

As the main selling point Julia Roberts and George Clooney, the bickering divorcees, are enjoyable enough to watch, but it becomes a little tired a little too soon. The backstory of the divorced parents barely scrapes the surface, even though their reason for divorce is the main motive for their meddling in the upcoming wedding. If there was an attempt to paint Roberts’ and Clooney’s characters as comedically out of touch, only the second part stuck; the film seemingly tried to make a squash-playing successful architect and an art dealer bidding at an auction the relatable viewpoint. Needless to say, relatable comedy does not work so well either, when they are staying at a lavish resort. The whole thing read as a superficial corporate ad where humanity is reduced to a selling point.

One lonesome thing going for the film is that it is rather sweet in the romantic relationships it depicts, and perhaps that’s part of the narrative problem. The young couple is unquestionably in love, while the old one is destined to end up together. It all feels predetermined in a way you want to forget when watching a romantic comedy, even when you know the ending is destined before the start. The only conflict comes from pitting the two opposing wants against each other: the parents don’t want their kid to get married, the kid wants to get married. There is no bad guy or secret drama, instead, both of the parties act out of love, perhaps to the detriment of the plot.​ The film has little else going for it; it leaves you feeling exactly as you did before seeing it. It is not memorable, too afraid to steer one way or the other, and ends unimpactful. It had little to say, except maybe as an ad for a holiday in Bali. If you want to see Clooney and Roberts, go back to their earlier works and leave this one alone.


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