09/09/2022 – 9:30
The aspects of the seventh art are almost infinite. Through cinema, artists from different generations can express political ideas, scare people, revisit past episodes or even heal their personal wounds. There are, however, those who prefer to venture into a less ambitious genre, even naive, but which fulfills its function of entertaining audiences of all ages: the good old romantic comedy. In the past, no one blamed themselves for enjoying gems like Some Like It Hot, with Marilyn Monroe, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with Audrey Hepburn. Maybe the world has gotten too serious, but the truth is that, every now and then, you have to accept that real life is full of complications and that an hour and a half of pure entertainment doesn’t hurt anyone.
This is likely to be the audience’s reaction to the delicious Ticket to Paradise, an old-fashioned film that makes the audience smile without feeling guilty. The presence of the stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts makes the difference: with empathy and good timing for the humor, the heartthrob and the star form one of those unforgettable Hollywood couples, for whom everyone hopes they will be together in the happy ending.
“We had to shoot a romantic scene 80 times. There were 79 laughs and one kissing shot.”
Julia Roberts, on the good relationship with colleague George Clooney
The plot is predictable from the very first scene – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Separated after five years of marriage, the ex-couple hates each other and blames the other for the failure of their relationship. However, they are forced to unite to put into practice a plan in the best “Trojan horse” style: to prevent their daughter, a young law graduate, from marrying a native she has just met while on vacation in the Bali island. It doesn’t even need spoilers to imagine how this will end.
Set in a paradisiacal place – although the plot is set in Indonesia, filming took place in Queensland, Australia –, the film went viral on social media for symbolizing a kind of “back to normalcy” in this period of relief from the pandemic. Clooney confirmed the pleasure of working with her colleague: “Julia and I weren’t looking for a project to do together, but it was easy to say yes to a chance to work with her again.” The actor also spoke about the invitation of director Ol Parker. “He sent the script to both of us at the same time and said he had written the roles for Julia and me. So right after I read it, I called Julia and said, ‘I’ll do it if you do it.’ And she said, ‘Well, I’ll do it if you want.’ Shortly thereafter, we were heading to Australia,” Clooney said. In an interview with The New York Times, Julia revealed that they had to shoot a romantic scene 80 times: “There were 79 takes laughing and one kissing”.
She also joked about the perception that the American public has about the two actors: “We have a long friendship and that works when it comes to playing a divorced couple. Half the audience already believes that we are really separate in real life, so it’s not that complicated.” The actress refers to the history of partnership in front of the cameras, in films such as 11 Men and a Secret (2001), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) and Money Game (2016), among others. In the midst of war and economic crises, it’s good to know that we still have the dark of the cinema to mitigate reality – at least for 90 minutes.