Ticket to Paradise Review: Clooney and Roberts reuniting makes for a fun comedy watch
George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite on the big screen for Ticket to Paradise, a funny and faulty comedy that delivers plenty of laughs and charm that help overlook some of its shortcomings.
The film follows divorced parents David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), who try to make things work when they’re with their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) but can barely get by without throwing a couple daggers at one another. However, they’re forced to come together after Lily says that she’s going to marry a guy named Gede (Maxime Bouttier) after falling for him on her trip to Bali after graduation. Now, David and Georgia head to Bali to try and stop Lily from marrying Gede, but also end up having realizations and reconciliations about their relationship.
If Clooney and Roberts just come into Ticket to Paradise with no real energy or care and just simply phone it in, it wouldn’t nearly be as fun or funny. Thankfully, that’s not the case as they’re totally committed and honestly thriving with the hilariously spiteful digs David and Georgia throw towards each other as well as some of the fun gags they find themselves in. It never really gets old watching these two throw some snarky and harsh lines at one another because Clooney and Roberts are such pros at line delivery, and there are some digs that are real gut-busters. Plus, some of the situations they find themselves in, including some seaweed farming and a couple biting moments with dolphins and snakes, are hilarious with how they further fuel David and Georgina’s battling mentality with each other.
There are even some really good blooper scenes spliced with the ending credits that are not only hilarious, but also continue to showcase Clooney and Roberts being a strong comedic duo and genuinely having a good time. Their energy definitely trickles into the rest of the cast as well leading to some good moments with the other characters that’ll get some laughs. All the scenes with Georgia and her younger boyfriend Paul (Lucas Bravo) are really funny largely thanks to Paul’s attempts failed attempts to please Georgia, and there are also some good moments with Gede trying to combat David and Georgia’s attempts to thwart their wedding. Plus, even though it’s not as funny to see Billie Lourd evoke the same energy that she brought to her breakout performance in Booksmart, she can still have funny moments.
For the first half or so, Ticket to Paradise is the kind of comedy experience audiences want in a trip to the theaters and offers a serviceable enough story to go along with it. Certain central elements to the plot definitely require some good suspension of disbelief and the story does hit some basic notes in its overall direction and with its character arcs. However, it’s still hitting its comedic beats well and keeps you hooked on Clooney and Roberts’ combative chemistry. Unfortunately, that momentum isn’t carried well into the film’s last act as it delves into the more serious aspects of its story and starts to leave behind its comedy.
Throughout the movie, there are attempts to explore David and Georgia’s divorce and their lingering thoughts and feelings from it, and it can do a surprisingly good job tackling it. Clooney and Roberts’ acting abilities allow there to be some good emotional moments surrounding this story thread and for their personal arcs, but it doesn’t last. It can connect well with their current feelings on Lily becoming married so fast just like them and admittedly, the film does take some unique routes with how it handles David and George reconciling themselves. However, there’s just no real depth to most of the realizations made and a lot of the late plot points feel exactly as expected from a movie with this kind of story. The story simply falls back on traditional narrative tropes and the film shifts out of its comedic tone for a more serious one, which doesn’t feel like a worthwhile tradeoff.
Ticket to Paradise might not have the depth or real story strengths to make its tonal shift and final act work completely, but thankfully, its got Clooney and Roberts leading the way making it a fun comedy watch that’ll be an easy crowd-pleaser.