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  • Colin Fraser


ONE STAR A bickering, divorced couple fly to Bali to stop their daughter's wedding.

Starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts

A bickering, divorced couple are forced together at their daughter’s wedding. Guess what happens next? Well, you know the answer, and that raises a much more important question. If you know the ending, why bother watching TICKET TO PARADISE at all? I didn’t find a reason.

David (George Clooney) and Georgie (Julia Roberts) clearly hate each other. They’ve been divorced a long time and with good reason. But when their daughter takes a holiday to Bali, falls in love with a local seaweed farmer then decides to stay and marry him, the spiteful pair form an uncomfortable alliance to stop her making the same mistake they did. Cue ‘hilarious’ shenanigans as they try to break up the happy couple.

Ol Parker, the creative force behind MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN leans so heavily on rom-com formula that any whiff of inspiration is firmly extinguished in this tiresome, by-the-numbers ‘romp’. Even the lush tropical settings (with Queensland standing in for Bali during COVID lockdowns) aren’t enough, unless you get a kick from working out where paradise ends and digital backgrounds begin. Note, this could be the most interesting aspect of the dreary story.

It goes without saying (although I will) that a rom-com, particularly one as hopelessly familiar as this, relies entirely on audiences being seduced by the chemistry of the film’s leads and the fun they generate. When the script is as rote, as unsatisfying and unfunny as that concocted by Parker and screenwriter Daniel Pipski, you can only hope Clooney and Roberts can dredge up enough showbiz sparkle to distract us from the paper-thin script. They don’t. What a waste of money, time and talent.

Missing the basic elements - romance and comedy - there’s nothing left but to sit it out. The only people who seem to be enjoying themselves in this flaccid misfire are George and Julia (and perhaps their accountants) - not their daughter, not her new family and certainly not the audience. TICKET TO PARADISE? Ticket to hell more like.



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