The streaming era has proven to be a mixed blessing for romantic comedy movies. On one hand, streaming services provide an easy avenue for audiences to watch these films with just a few clicks. On the other hand, studios rely on streaming so much that they don’t see theaters as the main way to access romantic comedies. So to see one on the big screen in 2022 with A-list movie stars like Ticket to Paradise sparks a lot of hope for the genre’s future. Only one question remains: does Ticket to Paradise hit all the marks of an ideal rom-com? The answer is a resounding yes!
The film centers a divorced couple named David and Georgia Cotton (George Clooney and Julia Roberts). Their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) heads off on a dream vacation to Bali supported by her bickering parents. All of this runs smoothly except for one thing: Lily soon finds the love of her life with Gede (Maxime Bouttier). A few weeks later, she emails David and Georgia to let them know they’re getting married. Upon this discovery, David and Georgia decide to put aside (most) of their differences and unite. Their goal? To prevent, what they think is a mistake Lily will regret in the long term.
To talk about the plot anymore would just give things away, so let’s buckle down on why this film is pretty close to perfect: the cast. Clooney and Roberts haven’t been in a film together since 2016’s Money Monster. Despite that, they jumped right back in like time never passed. They’re funny, stunning, and they know how to argue at just the right spots.
Ticket to Paradise also is the perfect storm to catch all generations of an audience as well. Dever has been catching everyone’s eye for the past decade, and Clooney and Roberts, well anyone and everyone tries to catch their movies. It’s just the best case scenario for a film like this.
The level of chaos in Ticket to Paradise is superb. It’s all the scheming that can bring enemies together for the common goal and draw them closer. A classic sub plot for romances, and it’s one that never fails. The different jobs allow you to get to know everyone just a little bit better, and get attached.
For a relative newcomer to English-language films, Bouttier plays off the cast quite well. Whether he shares scenes with Dever or Clooney, he finds a way to inject personality and charm to a stock character. I hope this catapults him to the eyes of many, because he doesn’t fade into the background.
There is one thing the film could have done better on, and that’s in the reasoning for why Georgia divorced David. This is nitpicky, but as someone who’s looking at becoming a mother, it really bugged me. She says she lost herself, between becoming a mother and a wife, and that wasn’t okay with her anymore. While it is a one liner, Hollywood uses this as a plot point far too often when the wife leaves. And I get it, as a parent the first priority is your kids. But that doesn’t take away from who you are. More and more, I think, I hope, we’re changing the narrative on motherhood being all our identity is. While there’s nothing wrong with leaving a marriage because you aren’t you anymore, Hollywood can be more creative than that.
Overall, Ticket to Paradise is one not to miss. It proves rom-coms aren’t dead at the theater, and can and should be enjoyed by other people around you. Clooney and Roberts need to do more films together, and by far their chemistry is the best part of this film. This film packs all the right laughter punches and all the best heartfelt moments to truly give you an experience not worth missing. – Katie Rentschler
Ticket to Paradise is in theaters now.