Stream or skip? +2023

Entrance ticket to paradise (now Peacock premiumand VOD services like Amazon Prime Video) brings Julia Roberts and George Clooney back together for the first time since (checks notes) money monster in (rechecks) 2016? Didn’t think two of the biggest Hollywood superstars of the past three decades would co-headline a Movie We Forgot Existed, but here we are (their previous collaborations: a few scenes each together in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and a few ocean movies). You’d also think they might have been starred together in a romantic comedy by now, but director/co-writer Ol Parker’s ticket is indeed a first for the couple. Now let’s hope it’s more memorable than her last outing.

The essentials: Georgia (Roberts) and David (Clooney) have radically different memories of the day he proposed to her 25 years ago: he remembers being polite and romantic, she remembers being underpowered. The marriage lasted five years, and to say she was ugly is to call a typhoon a light sneeze. Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) happened during that period, and now she’s graduating from law school, and here’s Georgia and David at the ceremony, berating each other like some sitcom/rom-com characters. They fight over every little thing: “It’s not a metaphor, it’s an armrest,” he quips at one point.

Lily’s plan is to hang out in Bali with her best friend and fellow college student Wren (Billie Lourd) and then move to Chicago, where she was hired by a major law firm. But fate intervenes when they are abandoned by a tour boat and rescued by Gede (Maxime Bouttier). He pulls Lily on board his trawler and they meet eyes and then we see a subtitle that says 37 DAYS LATER and a poor woman is stuck in the middle seat between Georgia and David on a flight to Bali for the wedding. Eventually they agree on something: Lily is moving too fast and she’s ruining her life, so they have to ruin their wedding. “Lockstep,” they repeat to each other, knowing damn well there will be instances when one does some shit and throws the other under the bus.

In case you haven’t figured it out already, Georgia and David are horrible people. They were bitter and miserable and god damn, their daughter will be the same when hell or high water come. There is a little culture clash/shock when they meet Gede’s family and then the sabotage begins. David sows some doubts in Gede’s mind, although the boy – a career seaweed farmer, by chewing gum! – seems too smart to give them a foothold. Meanwhile, Georgia steals a child’s wedding rings. Of course, the scenery, which is gorgeous in every stinky shot, is in stark contrast to their demeanor, which is made all the more lazy because they’re all sneaky and passive-aggressive. They may be secretly in pain or just plain A-holes, but one thing is for sure: nobody stuffs them in a cannon and shoots them out to sea to be eel food like they deserve.

Photo: IMDB

Which movies will it remind you of?: If I’m not mistaken, Matthew McConaughey was bitten by a dolphin Error starting, one of the most outrageously terrifying rom-coms of this or any century. Cross that with wannabe Grant/Hepburn snarky interplay between Clooney and Roberts, and you’ve got yourself a case of whiplash with this one.

Notable performance: Roberts gives her character a little more substance where Clooney keeps it superficial — though neither of them have much to do in this script.

Memorable dialogue: A typical exchange:

David: You know, for once, you could support me.

Georgia: I could, but then I would be wrong too.

gender and skin: none.

Our opinion: Parker and Daniel Pipski’s script doesn’t come close to matching the star power of its leads, and that’s a damn shame. Millions have been spent acquiring two Hollywood heavyweights so they can: Exchange mindless banter. Take part in a scene where Clooney gets bitten by a dolphin. Get drunk and dance like idiots to “Jump Around” and other ’90s hits. It’s unbearable. And Parker’s idea of ​​slick, understated directing is to use frequent split screens to illustrate the deep dislike in Georgia and David’s relationship. is that a word “Incompatibility”? If not, it’s awkward and tongue-in-cheek and absurd, but not particularly funny, but quite appropriate given the context and should be coined for that very occasion.

Not all Entrance ticket to paradise it’s so easy to dislike. The rest is generally lukewarm, its mediocrity made all the more noticeable as we sit at attention waiting for Clooney and Roberts to do something worthy of their upper-crust talent level. The plot is fictional, and we’d let it go if our leads ever had anything funny to say. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn Dever, a gifted young talent who was so great at it book smart, has nothing to do with it, a touch of character you might think would be Dealing With Some Shit considering the endless nasty quips between her parents. The supporting cast are similarly helpless — Lourde, the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, is given a typically wacky, promiscuous, drunken supporting character to play, and Lucas Bravo, who plays Georgia’s boyfriend as a French airline pilot, is left paralyzed after being stalked by was bitten by a snake.

Parker keeps the tone light but not memorable, shifting from the silliness of earlier scenes to a slightly more serious tone for Act III as he scoops in some semi-liquid feel in the hopes that it will seep into your cracks and settle and maybe feel you something. Are Georgia and David actually old softies under their cynical exterior? Are they destined to reignite the flame long smothered by their unbearable cruelty? Could I care less? Not really.

Our appeal: SKIP IT. Entrance ticket to paradise is a film you will forget – and a hugely missed opportunity.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more about his work below

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