Bitterly divorced couple Georgia and David are forced to team up after discovering their newly graduated daughter, Lily, plans to get married in Bali. Together they plan to sabotage the relationship so Lily will return to the states with them and return to her job as an attorney.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Julia and George in a rom-com and we’ve never seen them in a rom-com together, so yes, I’ve been really excited for Ticket to Paradise. As great as some rom-coms have been over the past few years, there’s definitely been something missing – mostly big-ticket rom-coms starring stars like… well, Julia Roberts and George Clooney. So rom-com fans rejoice! Because Julia and George are back, and thankfully, Ticket to Paradise is worthy of their talents.
The two actors already showed the world their electric chemistry playing former spouses in Ocean’s Eleven (2001), so I had no doubt that they would play well off of one another in this film, regardless of the plot. They didn’t disappoint either. Georgia and David are the kind of divorced spouses that should not be in the same room, let alone forced to sit beside each other on an airplane. They’re snarky and snide and you can literally feel the exasperation roll off of Lily whenever she has to deal with them. But as the movie progresses, we learn a bit more about what brought about the end of the marriage and it’s very clear that despite the bitter history, Georgia and David still care about one another, even if those feelings have been buried very, very deeply.
The plot itself is nothing new to the genre, but the script is romantic and witty enough that its lack of originality isn’t really an issue. The two lead actors bring their beloved star power to the table, which certainly elevates the material. You almost forget what’s actually supposed to be happening in the rest of the movie because watching Georgia and David snark at each other is so entertaining.
Kaitlyn Dever and Maxime Bouttier play Lily and Gede, the soon-to-be newlyweds. Dever is perfectly cast as Georgia and David’s self-sufficient daughter and Bouttier holds his own against Clooney, especially when Gede catches on that Georgia and David are attempting to sabotage the upcoming wedding and he’s forced to match their sneaky energy with his own. Billie Lourd brings her own brand of quirk to the film as Lily’s best friend, Wren, but sadly I felt as though she was sorely underused.
Ticket to Paradise is the kind of movie that’s going to appeal to a wider audience, as seen by its impressive international box office numbers, as well as rom-com fans. I’ll say it’s been one of my favorite movies of 2022 so far, but it comes just short of earning a five-star review from me. I wish I had very specific reasons as to why, but while I enjoyed the movie, there was something missing for me. I can’t quite pinpoint what – the somewhat thin plot? The lack of Billie Lourd? Georgia’s handsome French boyfriend never posed a real threat to George Clooney and was just goofy enough to make you wonder why someone as intelligent and sophisticated as Georgia would date him. Honestly, I don’t know. Ticket to Paradise in the hands of different actors probably would have earned a three-star from me instead, so that’s the power of old-school Hollywood actors, I guess.
Anyway, I definitely recommend Ticket to Paradise. Even if you’re not a huge fan of romantic comedies, I promise you’ll enjoy yourself.