Ticket to Paradise

Clooney and Roberts have chemistry, but lack the right script.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite for the fifth time, after the first two “Ocean’s Eleven” movies, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and “Money Monster,” to star in the romcom “Ticket to Paradise.” This time, they both play a divorced couple, David and Georgia Cotton, who are both forced to reunite with each other for their daughter’s wedding. They’re really there to sabotage the wedding.

These two actors both know how to connect, whether they’re talking or bickering, so the movie is poised keep us interested. But somehow, it felt kind of dry, and doesn’t really take the kind of inspiration it deserves. Basically, it doesn’t sell it self the way it should, especially by today’s comedy standards.

Their daughter is Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), a would-be lawyer and college graduate, who meets the man of her dreams in Bali. Gede (Maxime Bouttier) is her dream guy, who is also a seaweed farmer.

That’s when they decide to tie the knot, and that’s when her parents must fly to stop the wedding. It’s like if the father from “Father of the Brides”-and I’m talking about all versions-made it his mission to save his daughter from total chaos. All movies question if the girl knows what she’s getting herself into. Marriage has its challenges. I’m not married but I hear things, and they can either work or fail. Love is a complicated thing.

Another thing: Dever in recently in “Rosaline,” which is a comical spin on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” where she portrayed Juliet’s cousin, who fell in love with Romeo first. She even tries to convince her cousin that there are other fish in the sea, but to no avail. It was funny in a deadpan way, but it was also strong in its womanhood in such a period. Lily needs to learn some things from Rosaline.

On the side, Georgia is dating a much younger pilot named Paul (Lucas Bravo). He’s the dashing foreigner, who knows how to keep her interested. Yes, there are some corny jokes and a predictable conclusion, but his pay-off is nowhere near as bad as how Kevin Hart overreacted to Luis Gerardo Mendez visiting his wife in “Me Time.”

“Ticket to Paradise” was written and directed by Ol Parker, whose credits include “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” The former is his best work, because of the wise and charming vibes in such a magical setting, while the latter was a guilty pleasure with its campy attitude. “Ticket to Paradise” should have done something more with Clooney and Roberts, instead of just making them look like the mismatched couple that movie-goers are into. Their best collaboration was in “Ocean’s Eleven,” and they do have chemistry here, but they’re missing something special in the script.

The jokes regarding seaweed farming, dolphins biting Clooney, and he and Roberts dancing feels dated and dull. I mean I did smile when they end up stranded on an island, because Clooney tied the boat up to a log, which floats away with it, but still I wasn’t all that amused. This movie tries to sell itself as a comedy, but I was more interested in how the couple will resolve their differences and reconnect, which would seem obvious, than I was in its humor.

Rating: 2 out of 4.

Categories: comedy, Romance

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