Comedy puts Julia Roberts and George Clooney as a couple on the warpath

With the label of a romantic comedy, it is not difficult to imagine the unfolding of “A Ticket to Paradise”, one of the firsts in theaters. Even more than its two protagonists are George Clooney and Julia Roberts, in the roles of a couple who hate each other more than anything on Earth.

The daughter, the only link that keeps them in minimal contact, decides to marry unexpectedly, with a boy from paradise Bali after less than a month of dating. And they will have to band together to prevent what they see, from experience, as a disastrous marriage.

With an exotic and beautiful setting, ancient traditions and simpler lifestyles in evidence, far from the frenzy of the metropolises, this “ingress” that the film directed by Ol Parker proposes is a reassessment of the directions we give to our lives.

A formula similar to what the filmmaker printed in “The Exotic Hotel Marigold”, which also addresses the rediscovery of the urge to live in old age. In the new work, however, the theme appears abruptly in the plot, with a very superficial and dubious result.

In the first part, the script sticks to the disputes between the characters of Julia and Clooney, with some good gags, but forgets to establish what will be the counterpoint to the spiritual simplicity of the island located in Indonesia. Nothing seems to be out of place in their thoughts and lifestyles.

Nothing that at least indicates that their busy life prevents them from seeing what is essential. When the plot moves to Bali, there is no local character that makes a middle ground between cultures, a resource often used in certain comedies of the 1960s and 1970s.

It lacks that connection that makes the process of transformation of the protagonists more palatable, also serving as a kind of cupid and ladder for humor. Although not victims of xenophobia, the Balinese are fragile and uninteresting characters.

Even more serious is the film’s anti-feminist discourse. The gallery owner played by Julia Roberts enters a state of mea culpa when she feels responsible for the separation, for fear of losing sight of her independence and her career. Clooney’s architect, on the other hand, does not undergo any revision in this regard.

The scale tends very favorably to the male character. In addition to Clooney being clearly more at ease, taking humor out of his facial expressions, the film gives him the final word on the meaning of marriage, with his ex-wife’s consent.

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