Ticket to Paradise with Julia Roberts and George Clooney: Warm, Funny, Satisfying

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia (Image by Alix Gonon from Pixabay)

And . . . I saw Ticket to Paradise two days ago! I’d really I missed seeing a fully-fledged Hollywood production. Earlier this year I went to a movie without checking it online too much, and it was so bad, I had to leave the movie theater. Of course, Hollywood movies can sometimes be off-taste for me, too, but mostly I love their recipe for success: great writing, great directing, great actors to pull all that off, and fabulous setting and cinematography. Also great music—I didn’t notice it this time around, but I’m sure it was there 🙂 And then everything else: costumes, editing, of course, set design, and others.

Speaking of set design, the beach huts you see in the movie are not from Bali but recreated in Australia’s very own Queensland, which also provides the backdrop for the jungle scenes. The Queensland is a marvelous backdrop, indeed. I’m reading Hollywood has filmed there quite a lot recently. Even Baz Luhrmann’s movie Elvis was filmed in Australia, where the set designers recreated even parts of Graceland along with the look of several American cities. Pretty amazing stuff.

Anyway, beyond the marvelous islands I appreciated the star power of Julia Roberts and George Clooney, and the amazing spark they had between them. They’ve been good friends for quite a while, and it shows when it comes to their portrayal of an estranged couple—because, of course, in most cases what you lose first and foremost when a marriage dissolves is a great friendship.

I won’t give you many spoilers about the movie. I’ll just say that even with the tight editing that made things progress fast from one thing to the next, there were enough surprises, enough interludes. I liked the script’s humor, and I certainly enjoyed Julia Roberts and George Clooney perform those bits.

The young couple, Kaitlyn Dever as Lily and Maxime Bouttier as Gede, was nice too, and I enjoyed seeing one of the stars of Emily in Paris, Lucas Bravo, a former model who has quite a few acting chops, even as he is pushed into a stereotype in this movie. But he is funny and such a nice presence on screen!

Speaking of modelling, Maxime Bouttier, the French-born Indonesian actor who plays Lily’s love interest, was a model too before he turned to acting. He, too, is quite good at acting. He peformed his part without overdoing it, managing to show confidence and skills.

I think Ol Parker as director and cowriter did a nice job with this movie.

If there was a shortcoming, I’d say it had to do with Roberts and Clooney’s costumes, which could have been more showy. But the whole movie was a touch understated, so I get it that the costume designers wanted to save the good bits for the last bit of the movie.

And yes, it was formulaic, but it was entertaining and fun. I’ve certainly missed this kind of rom-com in recent years. Apparently Julia Roberts did too, according to one of her statements—which explains why we haven’t seen her in this kind of production for many years: something cute and funny and warm and sentimental at the same time.

So if you have time to enjoy this movie on the big screen when it comes to theaters in your area, I’d say go for it!

To a happier, healthier life,

🙂 Mira

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