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‘Ticket To Paradise’ Review: George Clooney & Julia Roberts Show How To Make A Rom-Com

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Think the romantic comedy genre is dead, at least as far as major studios are concerned? Think again.

Director and co-writer Ol Parker teaming George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Bali proves there is lots of life left in the rom-com formula if you have the right people involved and a smart sense of what makes this kind of one-time movie staple actually work.

Ticket to Paradise is the ticket to genuine movie fun, pairing occasional co-stars Clooney and Roberts (Ocean’s 11 & 12, Money Monster) in roles they were born to play — together. What makes it work so well is they get to play snark and sparks as a divorced couple, David and Georgia, whose marriage lasted only five years but resulted in a daughter they both love and fear is about to make the same mistake they did — or so they think — by getting married.

RELATED: Julia Roberts Says George Clooney & His Family Saved Her From ‘Loneliness And Despair’ While Filming ‘Ticket To Paradise’

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Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) has graduated law school and now, with BFF Wren (Billie Lourd) in tow, is heading on a well-earned vacation to Bali for a couple of weeks. Cut to 37 days later, and Lily is still there and informing her parents she has met the love of her life, Gede (Maxime Bouttier), and plans to marry him and live on the island. Not much can bring these two parents together these days, but this news definitely does as each, unbeknownst to the other, immediately books a flight to stop Lily before it goes forward. In a hilarious sequence on the plane, they discover they both have the same idea, and it gets even more complicated when David learns that the pilot of the aircraft is Paul (Lucas Bravo), who also happens to be Georgia’s smitten, much-younger boyfriend.

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Without resorting to the kind of slapstick shenanigans that could sink a story like this, Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and co-writer Daniel Pipski keep it real, and rather sophisticated, as David and Georgia try various methods to set Lily on a different path but also engage in non-stop bickering as we learn just why they never should have been together in the first place. However as the trip continues, and they get into the groove of the gorgeous setting, their passionate distaste for each other shows there are still sparks, especially as Georgia questions her own commitment to Paul, who keeps proposing.

Without resorting to the kind of slapstick shenanigans that could sink a story like this, Parker (Mamma Mia Here We Go Again, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and cowriter Daniel Pipski keep it real, and rather sophisticated as David and Georgia try various methods to set Lily on a different path, but also engage in non-stop bickering as we learn just why they never should have been together in the first place. However as the trip continues, and they get into the groove of the gorgeous setting, their passionate distaste for each other shows there are still sparks, especially as Georgia questions her own commitment to Paul who keeps proposing.

One of the film’s best scenes shows off the genuine Clooney-Roberts chemistry as each has way too much to drink in the bar one night and hilariously demonstrate their dancing skills to the entire resort. They provide the answer to what makes rom-coms work: a likable and believable pair of superstars showing they are at heart a new-age Tracy and Hepburn — fully aware of their star wattage but never letting it get in the way of credibly creating two parents with a genuine concern for the one thing they got right. Will they also find each other again along the way? That would not be so easy, and this film, bright and sunny as it is, also is grounded in reality, always credible and, though it doesn’t rewrite the rules of romantic comedies, Ticket to Paradise truly shines as an example of how to make them seem new again.

This certainly is a show that belongs to its stars, but the supporting cast could not be better. Dever again shows that she is one of her generation’s real talents, and with Lourd hilariously stealing scenes, we have a welcome Booksmart reunion to boot. French star Bravo (Emily in Paris) is charmingly cast as the kind of well-meaning but maybe too-shallow guy that Georgia would find ripe for a fling but perhaps not much else. Indonesian actor Bouttier plays Gede with just right amount of sincerity to make us believe Lily has found that elusive one true love.

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Ole Birkeland has supplied to gorgeous cinematography that probably will have audiences booking their next vacation straight to Bali (a second unit shot on the island but because of pandemic restrictions, and the film actually was shot in and around Queensland, Australia). Lorne Balfe’s sweet score compliments the comedy throughout.

Producers are Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Deborah Balderstone and Sarah Harvey. Working Title is one of the production companies, and that makes sense as in that it produced such choice examples of rom-coms as Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually. This one fits well in that group. Universal begins its North American release wide Friday exclusively in theaters, where it belongs. Ticket to Paradise already has been playing in several international territories, earning more $73 million so far. People need to laugh together again, and this will do the trick. Check out my video review with scenes from the film.

Do you plan to see Ticket to Paradise? Let us know what you think.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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