Everyone who has followed my career knows I love romantic comedies. For proof of that I have an entire podcast devoted to Hallmark movies, rom-coms and holiday films: Hallmarkies Podcast. The reason why many of us turned to Hallmark for our rom-com fix is because Hollywood stopped making them for most of the 2010s. Now to my delight 2022 has given us a bunch of new films in the genre such as Bros, The Lost City and Marry Me with the latest coming out this weekend, Ticket to Paradise. So let’s talk about it!
More than almost any other genre, the romantic comedy lives and dies on how its tropes are executed and the chemistry of the stars. Sure there are an occasional entry that’s original like an Annie Hall or Shaun of the Dead that try something new and different, but that’s really not what people are looking for from the genre. The predictability is part of the comforting appeal. So in Ticket to Paradise we are presented with the key ingredients to create that comfort: the stars and the trope. Julia Roberts and George Clooney, with a set-up for them to play the “Enemies to Lovers” trope.
They star as David and Georgia who are divorced parents of daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) who has suddenly decided to get married in Bali to a man she barely knows. This would concern any parent but both David and Georgia are over-involved in their daughter’s life and they both can’t stand each other (hence enemies to lovers…)
Of course, Bali is gorgeous and the contrast of big city vs island seaweed farmer lifestyles is another trope of the genre (how many Hallmark movies have the big city girl going to the country. In this case it is a tropical country!) Naturally, David and Georgia fight and ride the line of being unlikable. If they weren’t Clooney and Roberts with such great chemistry they might have been too much to take.
There are some attempts at broad comedy like when David is attacked by a dolphin but The Lost City was better this year if looking for actual laughs. However, if you are jonesing for a classic rom-com with charming movie stars bantering it out for 2 hours Ticket to Paradise delivers. Billie Lourd is also a lot of fun as Lily’s boozy college friend.
It’s a welcome and needed entry in the genre and the kind of movie many women are going to enjoy with their girlfriends and/or on date nights with their significant others. I’ve missed those. Please give us more Hollywood!
I don’t think Ticket to Paradise is a classic in the genre but it does what it needs to do to provide a pleasant evening at the movie theater.
7 out of 10
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