Complete A-Z list

Ticket to Paradise


Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Maxime Bouttier, Lucas Bravo, Billie Lourd

Director: Ol Parker

This flabby, empty romcom is like a daytime TV movie, only with (much) bigger stars. I'll say this much for it, though: it does make you long to go on an exotic holiday.

Roberts and Clooney exchange crisp, if unfunny barbs as Georgia and David, squabbling exes whose daughter (Dever, appealing within the limits of the role) has fallen for a Balinese seaweed fisherman (Franco-Indonesian actor Bouttier) while on holiday and invited her filthy-rich parents to fly thousands of miles for the wedding.

The unhappy couple can agree on only one thing: this wedding sounds like a bad idea. Of course, they find themselves next to each other on the plane, whose pilot (Bravo) is coincidentally hoping for Roberts' hand in marriage. We can all see where this is heading.

The stars, both executive producers, give tiresome, self-admiring performances as the feuding ex-partners, while Dever and Bouttier pose prettily for the camera against stunning Balinese backdrops. None of these characters, however, is believable, not even for a second. Lourd, though (Debbie Reynolds' granddaughter), playing Dever's holiday companion, looks as though she could have stolen the film given a few more chances.

Universal, generous hosts, treated us all to an hour of drinks before the preview screening, perhaps hoping some of us might occasionally lapse into the arms of Morpheus dreaming of Balinese beaches: worked for me.

David Quinlan

USA/Australia 2022. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour (unspecified).
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Sep 2022