Film review: Ticket to Paradise.

The endless appeal of Hollywood movies around weddings is absolutely fascinating. Do we ever really tire of them? Often the best wedding movies are amusing and charming rom-coms. The idea of a wedding crasher, runaway bride or saboteur is often a subject that comes to mind. Enter Julia Roberts!

Hollywood veteran Julia Roberts has interestingly made five wedding related movies to date in her stellar career – Runaway Bride, My Best Friends Wedding, Notting Hill, Steel Magnolias and more recently Ticket To Paradise with George Clooney. Many of these movies have become quintessential wedding romcoms. However, it’s often said the knives are out when Julia Roberts and weddings are concerned. Why? Because Roberts as a knack of turning weddings into a circus.

In her latest romcom Ticket To Paradise we find Julia Roberts and George Clooney as a long-divorced couple who fly to Bali in an attempt to sabotage their daughter’s pending nuptials. For the plan to work David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) have to put their long standing differences a side. Of course that’s easy said than done. David and Georgia were once a young happily married couple for about five years. The straw that broke the camels back occurred when their dream lakeside home which David was building burnt to the ground presumably in an accident and any semblance of happiness they had also went up in smoke. Since then, some twenty years later, the couple have been at each others throats, only finding common ground in their love for their daughter. That said, remembering how their own marriage succumbed to life’s pressures, they are now prepared to do almost anything to stop their own daughter Lily from getting married and making the same mistakes they made. 

There is a lot to like about this romcom even if it heads towards a predictable happy ending. Both Roberts and Clooney are charming and their chemistry is second to none. There is even a second chance at romance for our ageing leads reminding us that love isn’t always the sole property of young people. In the lead up there are many scenes that really try hard and wants us to believe David and Georgia will succeed in thwarting their daughter’s happiness. But its all too forced for its own good. My favourite scene finds Roberts and Clooney alongside their onscreen daughter played by Kaitlyn Dever and her fiancé Gede (Maxine Bouttier) at a Bali night club, where they play a friendly but competitive drinking game called beer pong. As our protagonists get inebriated the laughs increase especially when David (Clooney) breaks out the cringeworthy dad dancing moves. If only we had more of these screwball type moments I’m sure I would have liked this movie much more than I did.

Rating: 6/10

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