Julia Roberts and George Clooney try to revive the romcom

Julia Roberts breaks her 20-year romcom hiatus. But is it worth it?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Nov 5, 2022

Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Eat Pray Love, America’s Sweethearts, Notting Hill, and My Best Friend’s Wedding all have one thing in common: Julia Roberts. The Georgia-born actress is best known for the romantic comedy movies on her resume, but has not made a film in 20 years. Until now. With Ticket to Paradise, starring friend (and other Oscar-winning actor), George Clooney.


Directed by Ol Parker, the same director of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the movie follows the divorced Roberts and Clooney at a wedding destination for their daughters soon-to-be union, to a guy she barely knows on the helm of her future at law school. The whole movie, they plot and scheme to break the two up and prove to their daughter that she is making the wrong decision, as they did 25 years ago. Along the way, they are busy getting closer and closer to each other.


The story is an old Hollywood one, where two divorces bicker so much they can’t remember why they fell in love. By teaming up to take down their daughter’s wedding, there is real hope for the A-listers, but as much as their chemistry is lovely to see, it does fall flat when it comes to connection to the other characters in the film. Roberts is an art dealer who gave up her career for Clooney, an architect who promised her the world. Later, we are told they split because their house burned down. But still, there is nothing in-between. We don’t understand why, years later, they still can’t be in the same room together.


Not only that, but the film does not convince the audience that we should be rooting for their daughter and future son-in-law. Lily (the daughter) travels to Bali for a one-week vacation and ends up falling in love with the first local man she meets. Her love interest is a seaweed farmer — a career so different and less rigid as hers. He entrances her to a life off the grid and more full than she ever has known. One week leads into a month, and a month leads into a proposal.


We want to believe the two are in love, but it’s hard to see the romantic chemistry in the pair, making it even harder to understand why Clooney and Roberts even have to split them up anyways. In a romantic comedy, the audience has to be convinced and the actors must put a spell on us to convince us of real love and why the two are together and connected. Sadly, the movie does not do this.


Oddly enough, and in part by the level of fame the two primary actors have, the movie already has international acclaim — with audiences all over the world watching the film. But could they save romance and get show goers to the theaters? Only time will tell, of course, but if I had to guess, it would be no.


Sure, there are movies people prefer to see on the big screen, the anticipation of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever being one of them, but a romantic comedy with two leading actors when the same thing is available on platforms like Hulu and Netflix, I’m not so sure. People and critics will always have their opinions of course, but what do you think?


That’s just one movie that released last month. Here’s the complete list of movies that came out in October. And a list for November’s must-sees.


Photo via Universal