7 October 2022.
TICKET TO PARADISE *
Romcoms (romantic comedies) of old used to be brilliant gems streaming regularly out of Hollywood. Sharp, funny and unforgettable, they left a huge smile on one’s heart.
There was the Clark Gable 1934 classic, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT; Greta Garbo’s glorious NINOTCHKA from 1939; Lubitsch’s tender THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER from 1940 (which begat Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s YOU’VE GOT MAIL in 1998); the unbeatable Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn romantic duels such as WOMAN OF THE YEAR and ADAM’S RIB in the 1940s; and the sublime ROMAN HOLIDAY with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck from 1953.
More recently there have been the delightful, beautifully-designed gems of Nancy Meyers, such as: WHAT WOMEN WANT with Mel Gibson, SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, and IT’S COMPLICATED with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.
And of course the exceptionals: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, PRETTY WOMAN and ANNIE HALL.
There are many more memorable ones in between those, but unfortunately “Ticket to Paradise” – about a long-divorced couple who comes together for their daughter’s wedding in Bali – is not amongst them. In fact, despite having the magic duo of Julia Roberts and George Clooney, it’s dull, cliched and cringeworthy.
The fault of it all? An improbable, lacklustre scenario with leaden dialogue; bad casting, amateur direction and no chemistry between Roberts and Clooney. But then what could they do with such an inane script, postcard vistas and a Balinese family that looks straight out of a Hollywood set.
Miss this and instead download the wacky 1972 comedy WHAT’S UP, DOC with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neil. What has happened to romance today?!
LES ENFANTS DES AUTRES **1/2 (vo French)
This dramatic romance about a teacher who falls in love with a recently separated man is lit up by the always scintillating Virginie Efira. In the many films in which she has acted (“Adieu Les Cons”, “Benedetta”, “Revoir Paris”), she embodies her characters with such emotion and reality that it is completely captivating. Here she conveys the many phases of love with quiet perfection, as she not only falls for the man (Roschdy Zem), but also becomes very close to his little daughter.
Rebecca Zlotowski directs this film with a true feminine touch, making one feel the deep sentiments and doubts of a woman in love.
(Showing at Le City)
- Sorry, I erroneously put this film in my September 23rd column. It has only been released this week.
- And LE SIXIÈME ENFANT which was in last week’s column will be coming out on October 26th.
For more reviews click here.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.