Plot: What’s it about?
I’m under the guise that there really aren’t any actual, bona fide movie-STARS anymore. Or if there are, they’re few and far between (and aging). But if we have to assign some names to this thing that I just made up, I can’t see any reason why George Clooney and Julia Roberts couldn’t fit the bill. They’ve both been in the game for decades, have classic good looks, on screen chemistry and everything in between. Let’s face it, these two epitomize what we think it’s like to be a movie star. But audiences also respond to a good on screen duo. There’s a reason that Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock did The Lake House after their success in Speed. I could go on, but I feel that one reference should suffice. And so we have Clooney and Roberts. They hit it off in Ocean’s Eleven, but let’s see if their chemistry still clicks two decades later.
David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) aren’t too fond of one another. Now divorced, the only good thing about their marriage is their daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). Lily and friends Wren (Billie Lourd) are on a vacation to Bali. She (Lily) meets and falls for Gede (Maxime Bouttier), a local who farms seaweed for a living (yes, really). David and Gerogia show up for the ceremony but manage to agree on just one thing: she’s too young to get married (and neither want her to repeat what happened to them). The two think that the best way to accomplish this goal is to sabotage the wedding all the while hurling insults at one another the entire time. Do you think all of this might rekindle an old fire in David and Georgia? Uh…the magic 8-ball answer is “Yes.”
The film is a double edged sword. On one hand you’ve got Julia Roberts and George Clooney. Like it or not, they do have on screen chemistry and they’re fun to watch – even if they’re yelling at one another the entire time. And then you’ve got Kaitlyn Dever and Billie Lourd – these two are what made Booksmart work and they’re at it again here. It’s like a bonus (if you will). Yes, the film is formulaic and predictable. And in a weird way, it’s supposed to be. Clearly the filmmakers weren’t out to do something clever or original. There’s nothing wrong with giving the audience what it wants. If this sounds appealing to you, then Ticket to Paradise is your ticket to one hour and 44 minutes of fun. If not, there are other options out there.
Video: How’s it look?
Shot on location in Australia (though it’s supposed to be Bali in the film), there’s no shortage of beauty on display. The 2.39:1 AVC HD encode showcases the crystal blue waters (and sky) along with some of the rugged, natural terrain featured in the film. Roberts looks essentially the same, but Clooney’s five o’clock shadow is always on display. So, take the good with the bad is what I’m saying. Colors leap off the screen, the flesh tones are a bit on the saturated side with everyone looking tan and glam. But with a title like Ticket to Paradise, it’s got to have a certain visual style, no? Contrast is strong, black levels solid. This gets an A+.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The included DTS HD Master Audio sound mix has a few moments, but it’s really nothing to get to excited about. There are a few gunshots, but I’ve heard better from comedies. A grenade or two go off as well that don’t really make much of an (audio) impact. Vocals, the centerpiece of the film, do sound crisp and natural. By and large, the audio is a front-heavy mix that seems to get the job done. There’s not much else to say, it’s a perfectly serviceable track that delivers, but nothing mind-blowingly good.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Return of the Dynamic Duo -As I mentioned above, if you’ve been clamoring for a George Clooney and Julia Roberts movie – here you go. We get a bit about the on screen chemistry between these two as well as the parts being written, well, just for them.
- Destination Wedding – Evidently weddings in Bali aren’t to be taken lightly. We get a crash course on anything and everything that was involved to make this as authentic as possible.
- Production in Paradise – Australia, the backdrop for the locale in the film (Bali) is explored as well as the town it was filmed in.
- Keep a Straight Face – If you were looking for a Booksmart reunion between Kaitlyn Dever and Billie Lourd this segment features them hamming it up on the set.
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
Ticket to Paradise doesn’t reinvent the wheel. And it wasn’t supposed to. It’s a fun, harmless film that really only serves the purpose of putting George Clooney and Julia Roberts on screen again. If this sort of thing is for you – you’ll love it. If not, there’s always the Ocean’s films.