5/10 The equivalent of cinematic cotton candy, “Ticket to Paradise” is fun to consume but ultimately hollow and leaves you wanting more as it can best be described as mediocre. Like several of Adam Sandler’s previous movies, this feels more like it was an excuse for George Clooney and Julia Roberts to take a tropical vacation to Bali, Indonesia to have fun with friends than it was to make a high quality film. As for what works, since Clooney and Roberts have a history together (the Oceans films come to mind), they do have solid chemistry. The movie is entertaining and enjoyable to watch. It luckily sticks to the story and doesn’t try to shove political propaganda or woke messaging into it like so many Hollywood movies do today. The pacing works well and the Bali location is absolutely gorgeous to look at with its clear, blue waters to its rainy jungles and its beautiful mountains. Kaitlyn Dever is extremely likeable as Lily, the daughter of Clooney’s David Cotton and Roberts’ Georgia Cotton (bonus points that Dever is from Phoenix, AZ, making her even cooler). While the acting won’t garner any award nominations, there are some strong acting moments from most of the parties involved. As for what doesn’t work, this is one of the most predictable movies I have seen in a long time. Just from watching the trailer you can pretty much tell how the entire movie is going to play out. There are definitely several cringe worthy moments including a CGI dolphin attacking Clooney in a horrible attempt at humor and Clooney/Roberts getting drunk while partying and dancing as horribly as only white folks can. Moments like these are meant to be humorous but just fall flat and try way too hard. Several supporting characters are over the top or underdeveloped (Lucas Bravo as Paul is an example of both). Co-writer/director Ol Parker does not have a great filmography/track record so I guess it shouldn’t be a shock that this movie is as cookie cutter as it is. The script is 100% formulaic and you will see absolutely nothing that you haven’t seen before from a million other romantic comedies over the years. There are several coincidences and just a lot of lazy writing on display, as if Parker took the “bare minimum” approach to writing this movie. While I’m sure that the female demographic that this is aimed at will enjoy it more than I did and it is by no means horrible, it is just so run of the mill and predictable that I will never revisit this movie again because there is absolutely no reason to. While a plane ride to Bali might be a ticket to paradise, buying a movie ticket for this movie certainly isn’t.

#BaliwoodEnding / #OceansHeaven / #HePickedTheCotton / #GeorgiaOnHisMind / #ParadiseExhaust / #MyBigFatIndonesianWedding

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