“Ticket to Paradise” with Roberts & Clooney: RomCom clichés and a superficial plot make you melancholy

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RomCom starring Roberts and Clooney
“Ticket to paradise”? More like a ticket to hell

By Linn Penkert

A divorced couple who hate each other travel halfway around the world to sabotage their daughter’s marriage to a Balinese man. With “Ticket to Paradise” Julia Roberts and George Clooney don’t win much – quite the contrary.

As a genre, romantic comedy is as old as Hollywood itself. Developed in the silent film era, it became a staple during the golden age of major studios. The last heyday of romcoms was in the 1990s, just before a new generation of critics and viewers decided they were dated, insubstantial, or even poisonous because of the idealized concept of “true love.”


Lily loves Gede and Gede loves Lily – but that’s not the point.

(Photo: dpa)

Until then, Julia Roberts was the epitome of romantic comedy. Whether it’s “The Bride Who Dares”, “Notting Hill”, “Pretty Woman” or “My Best Friend’s Wedding” – in the 90s she delivered one box office hit after another. But that stopped in the 2000s. That’s mainly because she hasn’t been offered anything that would have been good enough for a long time, Roberts recently told the New York Times Magazine. “If I read something I thought was Notting Hill level or My Best Friend’s Wedding level, I would,” she said.

Now it’s time. The 54-year-old is celebrating her comeback in the genre in “Ticket to Paradise” thanks to British director Ol Parker, who was responsible for the musical “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (2008). other things. Along with George Clooney, who collected his last RomCom experiences with Michelle Pfeiffer in 1996 in “Days Like This”, she is behind “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), “Gesichtnisse – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), ” Ocean’s 12″ (2004) and “Money Monster” (2016) for the fifth time on camera. But did the two hit the jackpot with the movie?

Parents want to sabotage the wedding

Ex-lovers David and Georgia – who married 25 years ago after graduation only to divorce soon after – hate each other and would probably never see each other again. If their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) hadn’t been there. They meet involuntarily during the young lawyer’s graduation ceremony – bickering and nagging are not long in coming.

Shortly after, a big shock follows: Lily falls in love with the sweet algae farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier) while on vacation in Bali with her boyfriend Wren (Billie Lourd) and wants to marry him in a few days. She also gives up her promising career as a lawyer for her beloved, because the couple wants to stay on the Indonesian island after the wedding. The stunned parents now have four days to board a plane and do everything in their power to prevent the marriage. In her opinion, the young woman should not repeat her own mistakes.

That the collaboration will not be easy is already clear on the plane, when they would have to sit side by side in business class and the plane is also owned by Georgia’s new friend, the young Frenchman Paul (“Emily in Paris” star Lucas Bravo), is being checked. But of necessity, David and Georgia reunite and make plans to stop their daughter’s plan. Ordinary memories of the past surface – and more than melancholic feelings.

No lack of kitsch and clichés

Anyone who has ever seen a RomCom – or the revealing trailer for “Ticket to Paradise” – can guess where the plot is headed in the first few minutes. Because the movie’s formula has been seen a number of times, but not necessarily in such a dream setting (that’s Queensland in Australia, not Bali, though): two people who are clearly meant for each other can’t stand and bitch at the beginning of the film each other for about 90 minutes, to come together at the end. yawn.

The film does deliver a few funny scenes and bursts of laughter. But it’s mostly a series of RomCom clichés and kitsch – from deep conversations at sunset to wise calendar proverbs to drunken nights and waking up in a strange bed. In particular, the strong dislike between Georgia and David, reminiscent of the animosity between Beatrice and Benedict in the Shakespeare film adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (1993), seems greatly exaggerated twenty years after their divorce. The heated and artificial battle of words between the divorced parents cannot hide the fact that “Ticket to Paradise” is an extremely banal and predictable plot.

Clooney and Roberts get along well

What happens around Georgia and David’s love comeback is completely irrelevant: the relationship between Lily and Gede, for example, or Lily’s sidekick Wren, who has no story of his own, but is always between alcohol escapades and one-night stands. finds the time again for smart advice. All details to get the ex-couple back on track.

That Julia Roberts and George Clooney clearly had fun during the filming is not only apparent from the outtakes in the credits. As in previous productions, the two Hollywood stars harmonize in front of and behind the camera, despite the many script weaknesses. The 54-year-old was concerned before accepting the role. “Disaster,” she thought as she read the script, “because that only works if it’s George Clooney,” she told the New York Times Magazine. That’s correct. Because without the lineup of stars, “Ticket to Paradise” would probably have been more of a straight-to-DVD movie.

“Ticket to Paradise” hits theaters September 15.

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