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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Ticket to Paradise

also known as “Beugró a paradicsomba,” “Bilet do raju,” “Bilet pentru paradis,” “Bilhete Para o Paraíso,” “Bilietas į rojų,” “Billet pour le paradis,” “Cartis Le'Gan Eden,” “Cennete Bilet,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for some strong language and brief suggestive material.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release:
2022
USA Release:
October 21, 2022 (wide release)
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Relevant Issues
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Young couple meet in Bali (Indonesia) and quickly decide to marry

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Marrying someone you’ve only known for about a month

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Parents attemtping to sabotage their daughter’s wedding to prevent her from making the same mistake they made 25 years ago

Divorce

Divorced couple

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

About DIVORCE and God’s Word

What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer

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Love

What is LOVE, for a follower of Christ? Answer

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

About DRUNKENNESS in the Bible


Balinese Hinduism is an amalgamation of Indian religions and indigenous Bali animist customs and includes local and ancestral spirits, as well as forms of animal sacrifice. There are religious ceremonies at puberty, marriage, and cremation at death. Balinese weddings are held with various “sacred” ceremonies, rituals and processions and usually includes a Hindu priest who sprinkles the couple with “holy” water while praying to spirits.

Featuring George ClooneyDavid Cotton
Julia RobertsGeorgia Cotton
Kaitlyn DeverLily Cotton, their daughter
Maxime BouttierGede, the groom
Sean LynchRob
Arielle Carver O'NeillKimberley
Billie LourdWren Butler
Charles Allen … Dean
Ling Cooper Tang … Auctioneer
See all »
Director Ol Parker
Producer Universal Pictures
Working Title Films [United Kingdom]
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Universal Pictures. Trademark logo.Universal Pictures

When David (George Clooney) and Julia (Julia Roberts) first met (at a young age I might add), it was love at first sight. Even against Julia’s parents wishes, Julia knew David was the one for her and David always knew that Julia was for him and so they were married within a short period of time. They’ve known each other for 19 years now. It’s true! They were married for 4 years, and now, well, they’ve been divorced for 14 and let’s just say their marriage did not end on the greatest of terms. So there’s that…

This brings us to their daughter, Lily. Lily just recently passed her BAR exam for law school but wants to take some time to explore. She and her friend decide they want to experience the beautiful island nation of Bali. Sure enough, Lily falls head over heels in love (just like her mom did) with a local boy named Gede. Soon the two of them are engaged. It’s time to send the invitations!

David and Julia both receive their invitations and are beyond shocked. When they both arrive on the same island boat, they call a truce and hatch a plan: they need to try and break Lily and Gede up and stop the wedding from happening; for the sake of Lily and Gede’s own happiness (because hey, marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be right?).

“Ticket to Paradise” is a story of what happens when you become lost in yourself, your desires and what a marriage stands for.

Q & A

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?

Sex, Love and RelationshipsLearn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Comedies seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days, particularly romantic comedies. It seems almost any studio can create one, and almost every “rom-com” follows the same story arc: a couple who are absolutely incompatible with each other find out their good for each other in the end and live happily-ever-after—after going through some very unique circumstances. So what exactly does “Ticket to Paradise” bring to the table that makes it unique?

First, there is a lot of heart to “Ticket…” It’s hard to find many of these in today’s rom-coms. There are genuine discussion points that can be drawn upon when you leave the theater. Themes include the sanctity and value of marriage, love, the role and effects of divorce (how it affects everyone involved). “Ticket” doesn’t dive so into the deep end with these themes that it loses itself, but it does touch upon them enough that one can take a step back and re-examine these themes as a Christian.

Second, the chemistry between the characters on screen is relatively solid, particularly between the two leads, Roberts and Clooney. It is great seeing them back on the screen together; this is their 6th movie as co-stars. It’s like seeing Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore together. You know when a certain couple are on screen together that cinematic magic is going to occur and that is exactly what occurred with Roberts and Clooney’s performances.

I have two complaints about “Ticket…” First, the pacing feels off at times. It tends to drag in the middle and comes almost to a snail’s pace during the final act. I think Act 3 was far too long. Additionally, for a film that is supposed to be a “rom-com,” there’s not much comedy to be found. Roberts and Clooney, while they are amazing dramatic actors, they are only funny here on a few occasions. When it comes to the other characters and moments, comedy is sparse (and trust me, I’m not the only one who wasn’t laughing much, the audience wasn’t either, and there were quite a few of us in there). The focus of the film is on romance, not comedy.

Content of Concern

ALCOHOL: There is a LOT of alcohol use in this film. In one extended sequence, people are seen getting excessively drunk (to the point where one person throws up). One person gets so drunk they pass out. There are other scenes of heavy drinking. One scene involves people playing beer pong.

VULGARITY: F-words (2), Sh*t (3), P*ssed (1), B*tch (1), D*mb-A*ss (1), A**-hole (1), someone says they remind them of an attractive horse

PROFANITY: Oh J*sus (1), Oh my G*d (9), Oh G*d (2), G*d (1), D*mnit (1)

SEX/SEXUAL CONTENT: A girl is seen pulling out a long string of pre-packaged condoms. Couples are seen making out with each other in a couple scenes. There is a scene where sex is implied (a couple wakes up in bed with each other). There is another scene similar to this one later. There is another scene where a couple wakes up in bed with each other after they were out drinking, but it turns out that nothing happened. A woman gives the bride many wrapped condoms, explaining that she does not want to be an aunt yet. During the bloopers scenes, during the credits, an actor is seen making a sexual action with his hand and his genitals.

NUDITY: Some women wear some revealing clothing, including two women who wear revealing bathing suits (one wears a very revealing two-piece). There are some shirtless males. A couple people are seen in boxers.

VIOLENCE: Someone is bitten by a venomous snake, and we watch as someone has to suck the venom out. Someone is knocked in the face during a failed marriage proposal. A man begins to joke with another man about having to use a knife on him to initiate a blood ritual to cement the relationship between the in-laws. Someone is bitten in the leg by a dolphin.

DRUGS: A guy is woozy on pain medication while laying in a hospital bed.

OCCULT: Someone talks about the “goddess” of the sea. Lily and Gede are seen undergoing certain Bali marriage rituals (not rooted in Christianity by any means) such as reciting chants, etc. Someone again talks about the goddess of the sea and maintaining balance and harmony with the goddess. A couple does not want to visit a certain island because locals believe it is cursed.

Notes of interest

The film is set in Bali, Indonesia where the strongly dominant religion is Hinduism (almost 87%). Actress and co-producer Julia Robert is herself a Hindu convert; however the film does not specifically mention this blasphemous religion or name its false gods.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, most of the island scenes were NOT shot in Bali, as intended, but rather in Australia. So, if you are considering watching this film to see Bali, realize that you will instead be seeing Australia with some digital effects.

OTHER: A couple steals wedding rings from the ring bearers to sabotage the wedding. A guy is seen getting his canine teeth filed in preparation for marriage (a Balinese Hindu custom, and the camera pans away).

Themes

One of the themes that “Ticket to Paradise” addresses is the serious commitment and sanctity of marriage. During the film, both David and Julia laugh off the entire concept of marriage because their own marriage failed, and they try to sabotage their OWN daughter’s marriage because of this. It makes me wonder if they knew or understood the level or gravity of those vows. Minimally, the vows typically go…

“I, _____, take you, ______. To be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”

These serious promises seem to be shrugged off these days. Marriage is an everlasting contract between you and your spouse that you make before God Almighty. It is for your entire life on Earth. It means that no matter what trials and tribulations you face, you and your spouse will face them together with God’s help.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” —Mark 10:7-9

“For as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” —1 Corinthians 11:12

“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” —Ephesian 5:21-24

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” —Ephesians 5:25-28

Closing Thoughts

If I were to take a guess, I think “Ticket to Paradise” won’t win many, if any, awards at the Oscars this year. This doesn’t mean, however, that “Ticket to Paradise” has nothing to offer. Sure it has some flaws: way too much alcohol use, profanity/vulgar language and some sexual content that is unnecessary. Yet, if you are willing to look underneath the surface, there are some heartfelt messages and touching moments to be found regarding marriage, divorce and love—although presented from a worldly, not from a Biblical worldview or eternal perspective which would have much greater value and accuracy. This is not a film for teens or kids. For adults, ultimately, I’ll leave it up to you whether you’ll accept or reject this ticket.

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Heavy
  • Profane language: Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: Moderate
  • Violence: Mild
  • Occult: Mild
  • Wokeism: Mild

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Secular Movie Critics
…this rom-com gets derailed by its mean streak… Their machinations are supposed to bring them back together, but mostly they are just mean-spirited, both towards each other and towards their own daughter. …If you’re nostalgic for a great rom-com, though, this isn’t it. …[2/4]
Emily Zemler, Observer
…Starry comedy is sweet but requires substantial suspension of disbelief…
Kim Hughes, Original-Cin
…“Ticket to Paradise” goes down as a footnote to the many superior rom-coms Roberts has sparkled in before. And if I wanted to watch Clooney in a tropical locale, I’d choose Alexander Payne’s lovely “The Descendants.” …
Jake Coyle, Associated Press
…As it is, “Ticket to Paradise” is tolerable, but to make it a true pleasure would probably require some priming with a few glasses of arak. …
Kyle Smith, The Wall Street Journal
…“Ticket” is automatic-pilot smooth and formulaic familiar. It’s a romantic comedy, yes, and a star vehicle. But the category it most belongs to is airline movie — as in, a pleasure to watch in flight but less so on the ground. …
Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe
…“Ticket to Paradise” may well do great business to those looking for some escapist fun, and that’s entirely understandable. But I found the wacky double-act of George and Julia slightly hard work. …[2/5]
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…Clooney and Roberts try their best as bickering divorcees …but they’re finally not much more than decoration themselves, the filmic equivalent of plastic figurines on a cake. …[2/5]
Xan Brooks, The Observer (UK)
…Roberts and Clooney wear their stature like sweatpants, rousing themselves to do little more than spit insults like competitive siblings. They’re selling their own comfortable rapport, not their characters’ romantic tension. …
Amy Nicholson, The New York Times
Even George Clooney and Julia Roberts can't make “Ticket to Paradise” worth the price of admission… If Clooney and Roberts are both wonderful actors, at this point they’re just not that good together, at least not in this setup. …
Stephanie Zacharek, Time
…It’s just that every situation everybody gets into is a cliche (“stranded” for the night, etc). Throw in the fact that the movie’s on life support when the leads aren’t on screen, and you see the problem. …[2/4]
Roger Moore, Movie Nation