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Film of the week: Roberts and Clooney back on big screen in Ticket To Paradise which is a sun-kissed romantic comedy of second chances

By Philip Murray

From left, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) in Ticket to Paradise, directed by Ol Parker.
From left, David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) in Ticket to Paradise, directed by Ol Parker.


Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever, Maxime Bouttier, Billie Lourd, Lucas Bravo.

Director: Ol Parker

Love in a foreign climate reunites old flames in a sun-kissed romantic comedy of second chances directed by Ol Parker and co-written by Parker and Daniel Pipski.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite to play divorced couple David and Georgia, who called quits on their marriage after five years and have been simmering with resentment ever since.

They fake civility for the sake of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever).

During a post-graduation trip to Bali, Lily falls head over heels in love with a handsome local called Gede (Maxime Bouttier) and the young couple hastily decide to marry.

With just four days until the nuptials, David and Georgia secretly agree a truce to carry out an underhand plan to break up the couple so Lily doesn’t make the same mistake as them.

Unaware of her parents’ intentions, Lily introduces Gede to David and Georgia and excitedly prepares for her big day with best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) at her side.

On-screen chemistry is not something George Clooney and Julia Roberts are short of.

The Academy Award winners have united on several titles, from the first two chapters in the Ocean’s franchise, through to neo-noir comedy drama Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and political thriller Money Monster.

Kaitlyn Dever as Lily and Maxime Bouttier as Gede.
Kaitlyn Dever as Lily and Maxime Bouttier as Gede.

Yet their latest reunion comes in the form of this romantic comedy. And it was too good an opportunity to miss, declare the pair, who remain good friends and certainly provide no shortage of laughs and good-natured ribbing in its promotion.

“(It was) the chance to be snarky to George that really jumped out at me,” quips Roberts of her decision to sign up. “Just to see him just so pathetically in love with me (the character) when I’ve clearly moved on…”

“Well what was so important to me was to be able to work with the queen of sitcoms, the queen of romantic comedies. But she couldn’t take the job. So I worked with Julia instead…” Clooney responds, not one to miss a beat.

Their latest team-up is the rom-com birth we all need after the last couple of years, insists Parker, who is known for his direction on Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

“When the pandemic hit, the things that I’d been writing at the time suddenly seemed completely irrelevant,” he reasons.

“The world had completely changed. I thought about what I wanted to write and work on next, and I landed on writing something that would make people happy – something joyous and optimistic. Romantic comedies bring a large audience together to collectively laugh with each other, and after a few tough years, that seemed like a beautiful thing to bring to the big screen.”

• Ticket to Paradise is out on Friday.

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