This review of the movie Ticket to Paradise contains no spoilers.
Sure, you might have seasoned veteran actors and Hollywood royalty. George Clooney and julia robert romantic comedy title Ticket to paradise. However, Kaitlyn Dever gives the “sweet” story of parental protection and redemption the heart the movie sorely needed. Dever plays Lily Cotton, a law school graduate and her parents have good aspirations for her. She then goes to party with her best friend in a tropical paradise. Her parents (Clooney and Roberts) are divorced but can’t stand each other, flying away to break up her upcoming nuptials.
To whom exactly? She just met a dashing seaweed farmer named Gede (Maxime Boutier). Wow, sweet, right? It’s not exactly the classic rom-com trope of freak future in-laws who hate the groom. It’s the fact that her parents, David and Georgia, hate each other. But there is one thing they love more than anything: their daughter’s future. You can tell they don’t consider her happiness, but they are on their way. You see, they don’t want Lily to make the same mistakes they did by getting married so young.
If you got your head, big old pie in the sky, ticket to paradise welcome and shameless tries to manipulate you into thinking that love can conquer all. (Even as hard as the ending tries to give itself a way out by not engaging in either direction). The most cynical among us, myself included, will tell you that his parents are probably right. And seeing how your life and relationship are outside of a tropical paradise bubble can be not only sensible, but a reasonable choice. Since writer-director Ol Parker (Mama Mia! Here we go again and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) specializes in overseas exotic fluffernutter, storytelling is not high art. However, there is nothing to be offended by a little diversion for the eyes. Let’s then focus on what the film does well and where it lacks credibility when it comes to streaming entertainment.
For one thing, the delightful cross-banter between longtime collaborators in films such as oceans franchiseConfessions of a dangerous mind, and silver monster (yes, they did a lot of stinkers together), their pointy beards are trimmed, but not too deep, and have a Sam and Dianne sexual tension that can be appealing. Their teamwork, trying to undermine the marriage, is fun, and Lily’s best friend Wren, played by Libraryit is Billie Heavyoffers a nice comic relief.
The problem is that the script doesn’t offer enough of the fun moments or even the spiky zingers that the story clearly could provide. There is only one real attempt to derail the marriage. Adding additional attempts would have easily added more comedy moments. Lourd’s Wren badly needed more screen time, and Bouttier’s Gege is too steep, with no real friction moments. When Clooney offers insight into how his marriage fell apart, the moment comes across as empty and even disbelieving.
As much as the two legends can be forgiven for wanting to make a film in a tropical oasis during their golden professional years, ticket to paradise is a watered-down product overly concerned with pleasing everyone instead of establishing an interesting point of view, even despite the entertaining jabs and an ever-welcome Dever. However, if you’re a fan of this type of classic genre film and instead want to watch legendary Hollywood characters that provide a welcome distraction from a lazy story, ticket to paradise is the movie for you.
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