At The Movies: Ticket To Paradise

Have you been yearning for a romantic getaway? Craving a warm, summer holiday? Well the newly released, romantic-comedy Ticket to Paradise might just be the reason you book those plane tickets you have been desiring.

Ticket to Paradise stars Hollywood veterans George Clooney (David) and Julia Roberts (Georgia) as bickering divorcees, who must set aside their differences and travel to Bali to break up the sudden engagement of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). In their efforts to abort the wedding though, the estranged mother and father reunite, rekindling a spark that was hidden for decades.

They are introduced as cold, heartless enemies, but as they reconnect and learn to love the environment they have been thrust into, they are reminded of the love they once shared for each other, a love that is made all the more authentic thanks to the experienced cast. Roberts has been missing from the rom-com genre for over twenty years, but you wouldn’t have guessed it looking at her imposing performance alongside the ever-charming Clooney. The two are joined by an array of oddball supporting characters, but it is their chemistry that is sure to have viewers gushing.

The passionate dynamic between the on-screen couple isn’t the only drawcard for audiences though. The generic yet prevalent theme of love is not just shared through character relationships, but the location they reside in. We are often reminded of the stunning backdrop, whether it be through a scenic establishing shot or on-the-nose dialogue seemingly drawn straight from a travel guide. Ol Parker’s directorial method often verges on indulgent, resembling a drawn-out advert for the holiday destination, but the symbolic nature of the admiration for Bali from the characters, crew and audience alike, parallels the love shared on-screen from Ticket to Paradise, and romantic comedies throughout the years.

In the last decade, Parker has been known to send A-list stars to a blissful holiday destination, whilst having them explore the intricacies of living and loving. The destination wedding sub-genre may seem like an excuse for the Hollywood elite to sink martinis on a tranquil beach, but at least this holiday also reminds moviegoers about the importance of family and intergenerational differences.

Ticket to Paradise may seem like another run-of-the-mill genre piece, but it perfectly encapsulates what it means to fall in love, not just with another person, but with a place. It is a quirky love letter to the destination wedding rom-com sub-genre, to Bali and to romance itself.

Movie Review By Felix Baldassi-Winderlich

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