Alex Reviews "Ticket to Paradise"
Love always wins… especially in romantic comedies. If they are done right, you may know exactly what is going to happen and what beats are going to occur, but there is still a little fun and that is to be had in the escapism of a film like Ticket to Paradise. Despite its lack of surprise, it is still a cute movie that would make a fun choice for date night.
George Clooney (The Descendants) and Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) prove that undeniable onscreen chemistry never dies as bitterly divorced parents united in trying to sabotage their daughter’s wedding to a local seaweed farmer, she meets on a post-graduation trip to Bali. The cast in general crush their roles within the narrative with Clooney continuing to enjoyably blend the paternal clown with a deeply caring yet flawed man better than anyone while Roberts continues to prove herself as Hollywood royalty in her balance between sweet mother and ultra-confident executive. It is also worth noting here that the bigger surprises comes from their younger counterparts in Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) and Maxime Bouttier, in his first role outside of Indonesia. Dever shows skill well beyond her years to balance young and innocent with the ability to hammer home her character’s emotional intelligence as the story develops, and there may even be a nice little Easter egg in her college dorm room as it pertains to her field of stud.
Although not very dynamic, Maxime Bouttier, delivers as the likeable love interest who just wants everyone to get along and be happy, and while it’s not a command performance I really felt for him and the dozens of locals cast to play his large family. Interestingly, his character’s name (Gede) is pronounced like the Australian greeting, G’Day…and Australia was the stand-in for Bali for this production, which made me wonder if there is a connection there.
Ol Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), aka Mr. Thandie Newton, is quickly becoming the go-to for these low risk, happy pictures since breaking in with the Exotic Marigold Hotel films. There is some decent work done delivering on the story and ensuring the actors hit their spots which with this cast is an easy feat, but the story still has to be there nonetheless.
If I did have a big gripe with Ticket to Paradise, it would be the visuals on multiple levels. There were multiple times where a character would comment on how beautiful the location was, but what I saw felt like it was on a much smaller scale or there would be a fantastic drone shot that fizzled when the transition to CGI got a little too obvious. I can’t say this film was poorly shot as much as it may have been some framing choices that made certain views feel wonky. The thing that got me the most were the unforgiveable shots where the cast is in the foreground and the background looks like it might have been printed at a Kinkos. Honestly, I’m pretty sure one of these “sets” was used at an Olan Mills or a Glamour Shots. Despite this, I enjoyed Ticket to Paradise for its positivity and lighthearted fun in a world that can often get too serious. It is doubtful that it will win any awards, but it should develop a wide fanbase looking to have a good time with love at the forefront.