Clooney and Roberts' Reunion Isn't So Memorable

'Ticket to Paradise' reunites Julia Roberts, George Clooney, for better or worse
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2022 9:36 AM CDT

In reuniting George Clooney and Julia Roberts for their fifth movie together, Ticket to Paradise aims to resurrect the classic romantic comedy. Bickering exes David and Georgia, 20 years removed from their divorce, join forces to sabotage the wedding of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), fearing that in marrying a man she met on vacation in Bali, she is throwing her life away. Unfortunately, some critics say the latest from director Ol Parker, with a 55% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is lacking in both romance and comedy. Four takes:

  • The film "doesn't invest enough time or energy into the young lovers for you to care whether or not they make it to the altar," but no matter. "This movie is all about beautiful people, gorgeous scenery, and the elders rekindling their romance," writes Glenn Whipp at the Los Angeles Times. For him, that's enough. "A movie mostly absent of surprises and character details cannot fully vanquish" Clooney and Roberts' appeal, he writes.
  • Seeing them together again does summon "warm and fuzzy memories," writes Johnny Oleksinski at the New York Post. "That's the extent of our enjoyment, though." He argues this rom-com is neither romantic nor comedic. "Instead, the flimsy film settles for being attractive and deeply uncomfortable" as the "cruel schemers ... mock Balinese culture and traditions the entire movie." As Lily and fiance Gede (Maxime Bouttier) "are pancake-flat characters" who "aren't believably in love," the end result is that "we root for nobody."

  • Georgia and David's scheming including "embarrassing a very young child and making her cry, and how's that for comedic entertainment?" writes Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times, adding the "half-baked, ultra-lightweight, almost instantly forgettable" movie is "filled with creaky one-liners and low-level physical shtick that almost cries out for a laugh track." It "gets a little better in its final act, but by then it's too little, too late," he adds. "What a wasted opportunity."
  • But Mick LaSalle, who found the whole thing "enjoyable," writes of "the pleasure of watching Clooney work … because it seems that Clooney isn't working at all." It's "the most generous kind of great acting, designed so that you won’t notice," he writes at the San Francisco Chronicle. He adds Roberts "radiates an appealing groundedness and sanity," while Billie Lourd, in the role of Lily's friend, "is so vivid … that, at a certain point, the script stops giving her lines. Otherwise, she'd steal every scene."
(More movie review stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.