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  • Writer's pictureMatt Conway

Ticket to Paradise: Review

Bickering divorced couple David and Georgia disagree on everything – except for the love they share for their daughter Lily. When the pair learns that Lily plans to marry her new boyfriend and relocate to Bali, they reunite to deter her in the romantic comedy, Ticket to Paradise.

It’s no secret that romantic comedies are a dying breed theatrically. The once-overpopulated genre seemingly ran its course as streaming empires like Netflix rolled out a slew of agreeable offerings straight onto viewers’ TV screens. There have been some success stories of late, like this year’s The Lost City, but most studios seem too gunshy to give the genre much space on theatrical platforms.

Rallying together the charismatic talents of George Clooney and Julia Roberts is one surefire way to reignite some fervor for the often-ignored genre. While Ticket to Paradise presents the glitz and glamour of an enjoyable romp, the film ultimately reduces into a been-there-done-that affair.

I know familiarity is commonplace in romantic comedies – heck, it’s even embraced in many cases. Even with that considered, Ticket doesn’t excel at executing rom coms core tenets. Screenwriters Daniel Pipski and Ol Parker concoct a promising narrative that features a plethora of hijinks, emotional revelations, and loving moments. I wish the duo could execute that formula with a renewed sense of purpose.

Ticket to Paradise struggles to elicit much amusement from its played-out playbook. Clooney and Roberts conjure some laughter from their sheer camaraderie alone, but the film often abandons the talented duo with middling comedic material. Jokes centered on juvenile pratfalls and weirdly mean-spirited moments directed toward the Bali culture come off in poor taste (most of the best bits are already spoiled in the trailer). It all feels incredibly uninspired, often repurposing gags that either worked better in superior films or already reached their proper expiration date.

As a romance, Ticket mines equally lifeless territory. Clooney and Roberts possess the charismatic skillset and lived-in chemistry to create some bubbling moments of intimacy. Still, the relationship between David and Georgia never develops naturally onscreen. So much of the movie feels far too rushed and truncated to reach the warm-hearted conclusion it desperately seeks. The reliance upon a few contrived speeches and last-second revelations ultimately burdens the leading pair from truly defining a lived-in dynamic onscreen.

Ticket to Paradise certainly looks the part of a great romantic comedy. Parker effectively captures his tropical setting’s effervescent beauty with technical aplomb behind the camera, while the talented cast does their best to inject personability in their archetype roles. Unfortunately, the puzzle pieces never quite come together for this amicable yet entirely disposable romp. Audiences looking for a charming rom-com should check out the criminally underseen BROS instead.

Ticket to Paradise is now playing in theaters.


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