One of the biggest tragedies of the modern age is that big-budget rom-coms have become almost obsolete. While back in the good ol’ days (the 2010s, even), films like Just Go With It and 50 First Dates were equipped with a healthy budget of around $80 million, present-day rom-coms are not given the same royal treatment, and tend to go straight to streaming and fly mostly under the radar as a result. Which is why, when the world caught news that ‘90s and early-2000s rom-com darlings Julia Roberts and George Clooney were co-starring in a $60 million rom-com bound for a coveted and increasingly scarce theatrical release, one couldn’t help but anticipate that it marked the genre’s exhilarating renaissance. Alas, this exciting prospect only makes the crushing disappointment that is Ticket to Paradise that much more devastating.
Ticket to Paradise follows the impossibly debonair David (Clooney) and his quick-witted gallerist ex-wife Georgia (Roberts), who loathe one another to a comical degree. The exes are dead-set on avoiding one another for the rest of eternity, but as life (or rom-com plots) goes, they are forced to come together when their aspiring-lawyer daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) announces she is moving to Bali to marry seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier), whom she met on a post-grad vacation. In a desperate attempt to stop their daughter from making the same catastrophic mistake they did a couple decades prior, David and Georgia travel to Bali. Hilarity ensues.
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