Ticket To Paradise - Clooney and Roberts fizz in fab romcom
Nothing beats a decent romcom, and this is a very, very decent romcom indeed. It’s completely unchallenging, pretty superficial and nothing happens that you can’t see coming a mile off.
But it’s also deliciously entertaining, just about poignant enough by the end and thoroughly engaging throughout – thanks to the most stunning setting, a couple of classy leads and a chance to see the remarkable Kaitlyn Dever in something rather different.
George Clooney and Julia Roberts are David and Georgia, a pair of bickering exes who are forced to bury the hatchet (largely in each other) to work together to prevent their daughter from making what they are convinced is the biggest mistake of her young life. Lily (Dever) has been groomed since childhood to become a career-focused high-flying lawyer. She makes it only as far as her graduation, however – the point at which she jets off to Bali for a summer holiday prior to starting her job in Chicago. And it’s in Bali that Cupid strikes. Amid paradise, she falls head over heels for a local seaweed fisherman Gede (Maxime Bouttier) who totally reciprocates. All dreams of a life-time of slog in the big city evaporate – much to David and Georgia’s fury.
There is huge chemistry between Clooney and Roberts, the warring couple, arguing non-stop, always wanting the last word but slowly, slowly, slowly starting to suspect that the last word might actually be a fond one. There’s nothing they won’t stoop to in their efforts to derail the wedding, but in their acts of sabotage, a little flame that has never really gone out starts to flicker more and more strongly. It is lovely stuff, and Roberts and Clooney ooze class in roles that probably ask even less of them than their characters demand of us. Best just to sit back and enjoy the fizz, much as they are doing.
Maybe the film takes just a little too long to get going, but soon you’ll forgive it pretty much anything. The script is witty, the actors are in their element and the glorious setting does the rest.
But it’s great too to get another look at Kaitlyn Dever, so unbelievably brilliant in the unbelievably brilliant Netflix series Unbelievable in which she played a rape victim who wasn’t believed. It was a harrowing, difficult watch, a grim, gritty series which held you entranced.
Ticket To Paradise is absolutely at the opposite end of the spectrum, so light and frothy in comparison that you wonder whether it might actually float away. Dever showed herself to be an astonishing actor in Unbelievable; in this she probably barely breaks sweat. But importantly, she delivers exactly what’s needed as the sorely-tried daughter slowly realising that her parents, just at the moment, are hardly her greatest allies.
There are plenty of laughs but by the end, the whole thing is tugging just enough at the heartstrings.
We’ve been watching the trailer for this one for months. It looked great – which obviously meant that the whole thing risked disappointing. What if they’d put all the best bits in the trailer? In fact, it doesn’t disappoint at all. You might not remember too much more than a vaguely warm glow in a couple of weeks’ time, but you will also remember just how much you enjoyed it.