(director/writer: Ol Parker; screenwriter: Daniel Pipski; cinematographer: Ole Bratt Birkeland; editor: Peter Lambert; music: Lorne Balfe; cast: George Clooney (David), Julia Roberts (Georgia), Billie Lourd (Wren), Kaitlyn Dever (Lily), Maxime Bouttier (Gede), Sean Lynch (Rob), Lucas Bravo (Paul), Genevieve Lemon (Beth-Ann), Cintya Dharmayanti (Losi), Agung Pinda (Wayan); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Tim Bevan/Eric Feliner/Sarah Harvey/Deborah Balderstone; Universal Pictures; 2022)

“For fans of the stars, it’s at least a chance to see them work together again.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A by-the-book goofy romantic comedy about second chances that is written and directed as if a Hollywood sitcom by Ol Parker (“Now is Good”/”Imagine Me & You”), and co-written by Daniel Popski as a possible screwball comedy. It has legs only because its likeable stars, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, give the slight script a big uplift with their star presence and their constant zingers as they travel to Bali for their daughter’s wedding (with scenic Queensland, Australia a stand-in for the paradise in the title that’s pitched for its beauty and promoted as a top tourist spot–with the joke being the Bali on film is really Australia). Clooney and Roberts last worked together in the 2016 Money Monster film.

Georgia (Julia Roberts) and David (George Clooney) were married 25 years ago but the marriage was so toxic they divorced after 5 years. They have a daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), who graduates from a university in the Chicago area. After graduation, Lily takes a trip to Bali with her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) where she falls in love with a seaweed farmer, the Bali-native Gede (Maxime Bouttier), and plans to shortly marry him.

Lily’s rich and zany American parents fly by plane to Bali for the wedding after the invite and make a peace pact to work together to sabotage the wedding so she can avoid
their bad marital experience.

By coincidence the smoothie French pilot on their Bali flight is Paul (Lucas Bravo), who is Georgia’s current boyfriend.

In an obnoxious scene, the old couple get drunk with the new couple while embarrassing themselves by dancing in the street to old tunes.

Too bad the comedy was so lame, all the characters were so undeveloped, the rom/com had such terrible dialogue and the likeable stars played such unlikeable characters.

But for fans of the stars, it’s at least a chance to see them work together again and observe how they have aged so gracefully.

Julia Roberts, George Clooney in Ticket to Paradise


REVIEWED ON 10/20/2022  GRADE: C+