Do you even need to read a movie review about whether to see a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney? No you don’t, and that is what everyone behind TICKET TO PARADISE is abundantly aware of. And can you blame them? Give me two of the most charismatic actors to ever grace the silver screen, exuding an insane amount of effortless chemistry, and you don’t really need much more out of a movie to make me enjoy it. But let’s be real, if the leads were cast by anyone else, I wouldn’t give it the time of day.
Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) is graduating from law school and worried that her parents David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) are finally going to be in the same room again after a bitter divorce left their relationship nonexistent. The two can barely sit beside each other without causing drama, but are civil enough to celebrate their daughter’s accomplishments and bid her farewell on her post-grad trip to Bali. But when Lily surprises her parents by getting engaged to a local after a few weeks in paradise, David and Georgia decide to join forces and stop their daughter from making the same mistake they did by rushing into marriage.
The script has a good enough premise, just original enough to make it seem like a new edition to the genre, but is admittedly thin and lacking the cleverness normally associated with its stars. This rom-com is less about the com and more about the rom because many of the jokes veer into the realm of cheesy. But again, if you are really paying attention to the mediocre script, you didn’t come to this film for the right reason. Crazy enough, the gag reel that runs during the end credits got the biggest laughs of anything in the film; I think that speaks for itself.
Everyone in the cast looked to be having the time of their lives shooting the film and that shows on-screen, particularly in a montage scene that involves beer pong, dancing, and shots. Of course Roberts and Clooney are in their elements, with an effortless banter that feels incredibly natural and has that twinge of underlying romantic tension that lingers throughout the film. That chemistry hooked me from the very beginning. Their characters are billed as hating each other, but you can tell it’s only a matter of time before that changes.
TICKET TO PARADISE rests solely on the shoulders of Roberts and Clooney’s star power and the appeal of seeing them reunite on-screen once again. Do not go to the theater to see this film for any other reason than that. I never doubted that I would be entertained by this movie because I could easily watch a three hour movie of the two of them talking on a couch. Just admit to yourself that this is what you are paying to see, sit back, and enjoy.
My Review: B-/C+