Ticket to Paradise Reviews: There Will Be No Spoilers in This Review.
Romantic comedy set in foreign locales The uplifting and escapist qualities of “Ticket to Paradise” can be enjoyed by anyone who is willing to overlook the film’s serious flaws.
Do Not Worry, There Will Be No Spoilers in This Review.
The genre of romantic comedies is one of the most difficult to dislike. Some call it a fad, others find it fake and cheesy, and others pretend to dislike it.
I have no shame in admitting that I enjoy romantic comedies. Once best friends, they’re now romantically involved. Strange ties to one’s past. To get the attention of the one he really wants, a man pretends to be interested in someone else, only to realize that the one he really wants has been standing in front of him the whole time. All of them have my enthusiastic approval.
I’ll devour a story about bickering characters who secretly want to be in each other’s arms like comfort ice cream. It’s as if the genre’s fairytale aspirations have a magnetic pull on the hearts of its viewers. Put your faith in magic or naiveté all you like, but you can’t deny its power.
Finally, a new romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, two actors who are impossible to look away from once they get into their stride. Roberts, an established expert in the field, gracefully slips into the high heels of romantic comedy royalty, which still look fabulous on her. However, thanks to Clooney’s acting skills, an otherwise objectionable old white guy is transformed into a lovable buffoon.
After working together on five previous films, most notably the Ocean’s Trilogy, it makes sense to cast them in a romantic comedy together. They’re not only talented actors, but they’re also at the perfect points in their careers to carry this movie. Roberts and Clooney have a good time on an escapism vacation in Bali, Indonesia, thanks to the film Ticket to Paradise.
Divorced parents David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts) Cotton are thrown back together when their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) makes the sudden decision to marry Gede (from Indonesia) (Maxime Bouttier). The parents plan to travel to see their daughter in the hopes of convincing her to return to the United States and pursue a legal career there. They have no idea that the trip will reignite what little passion is left between them.
Lily’s carefree friend Wren (Billie Lourd) and Georgia’s loyal lackey Paul (Lucas Bravo) are also on board. It’s a game of tug-of-war as the divorcees try to stop the wedding from going ahead. Eventually, it’s revealed that this is a clash between civilizations; the film initially takes a Western stance, but gradually shifts to a more nuanced one as it delves deeper into Indonesian culture.
Ticket to Paradise Official Trailer
First, let’s address the most important issue: massive colonizer energy. Is the movie trying to strike a fine balance between Western influence and respect for Indonesian wedding traditions? Most likely, and you can see it the clearest in the movie’s opening act.
There’s no denying that Clooney and Roberts spark off each other. But if I were a part of this film’s cast, I’d find them intolerable and unjust. When their daughter calls them out for their selfishness, the film tries to shake off its privileged undertones.
Similar criticisms were leveled at Roberts’ previous film Eat Pray Love, which also followed a woman on her self-discovery journey. It should come as no surprise that this particular brand of postcolonial orientalism has been met with widespread rejection.
An article from 2010 on NPR describes how this trend is based on the “stereotype that the East is someplace timeless, otherworldly, incomprehensible, waiting to be discovered by Westerners in search of self.”
Finding out that the movie wasn’t even shot in Bali, Indonesia, isn’t much better. Given that the filming schedule fell during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, the scenes were shot in Queensland, Australia. Unfortunately, this means that the natural beauty of Indonesian culture was artificially boosted by technological prowess, though it was undoubtedly a move made under difficult circumstances.
Given this, it’s clear that the central love story was the saving grace of the film. Roberts told Variety, “I think it’s so funny… The fact that it has the potential to be great only increases the likelihood that it will be terrible. The tagline for the film should definitely be “It’s probably going to be terrible.”
Curiously, the film needed Clooney and Roberts to be having a terrible time. Seeing them dance in an unremarkable nightclub after the bride’s family wins a beer-pong battle is a hard-to-replicate dopamine boost. It’s hard to believe that our protagonists are a divorced couple. They have the kind of playful banter and heartfelt moments that most fictional married couples can only hope for.
Despite the “we’ve seen this before” vibe permeating the movie, the audience embraces the film’s reliance on clichés and stereotypes not out of a lack of originality but rather to feel invested in the film’s attempt at selling a romantic fantasy. I won’t pretend Ticket to Paradise is groundbreaking or transformative because it makes people happy and laughs.
If you want to get the most out of Ticket to Paradise, you should watch it without any context. The cocktail and beach setting, Indonesian wedding rituals, and attractive cast members create a satisfying experience. If you pretend you’re on a tropical island and shut out the rest of the world, you’ll feel better. – Rappler.com
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