Ticket to Paradise

Content Caution

Ticket to Paradise 2022


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Bob Hoose

Movie Review

For David and Georgia, a long-divorced couple who would rather go blind than see each other again, their daughter Lily’s graduation from college was … difficult. Not because it wasn’t wonderful to celebrate with her. But, you know, because of the whole seeing each other thing.

Eventually, however, they made it through. They applauded her, hugged her and smilingly saw Lily off on a lovely Bali vacation. And then they turned and went their separate ways—with mutually gleeful dreams of never having to be in each other’s presence ever again.

Then Lily texted.

It seems that while she and her bestie, Wren, were sunning and funning, Lily met a guy. A nice Balinese guy. A seaweed farmer (whatever that is). And Lily is in love. What’s worse, Lily is getting married!

Oh, but the rolling relationship tsunami doesn’t end there. Lily is so romantically dotty that she has decided to get married; to give up the promising law career she just spent grueling years and hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing for; and to live in a little Bali hut with her wet weed farmer.

But the biggest tidal-wave smack upside David and Georgia’s heads is when they separately realize that they must once again get together. In fact, they have to meet, smile and walk in lockstep with each other. Only then can they appear to be supporting Lily while doing everything necessary to crush her ridiculous little Disney-princess-living-in-a-grass-hut fantasies.

Lily’s making exactly the kind of idiotic choice they once made when they foolishly believed that “love” would see them through. And look what a complete and utter train wreck that became!

There was absolutely nothing good that came out of that fairy tale-ish, poorly thought through, emotionally driven union.


Well, except for Lily.

And a few lovely moments. And—

But there’s no time to think about those things. Now it’s time to plot. To fight. To manipulate. They’ll destroy this spur-of-the-moment madness and happily break their daughter’s heart if need be.

That’s what good parents do. Even when they can’t stand the sight of each other.

Positive Elements

Lily and her fiancé, Gede, do appear to sincerely love one another. But you can also understand David and Georgia’s reservations about their rushed courtship.

Ultimately, though, the film talks of the sacrifices and determination needed in a successful marriage. And it warns that sometimes relationships can crumble, and great walls of hurt can be erected, because of a lack of communication paired with an inability of partners to truly listen to one another or offer words of apology.

There are emotional rifts and wrong choices made between David, Georgia, Lily and Gede, but in the end the couples learn to ask for and offer forgiveness. David and Georgia both speak of their unwavering love and gratefulness for Lily. Lily says the same in return. In fact, Gede’s convinced his marriage to Lily won’t work without the blessing of her parents and the bonding of their new family together.

Gede’s family members are all warm, welcoming and gracious to Lily and her family. And both Lily and Gede make it clear that their marriage is for a lifetime, not just a season.

Spiritual Elements

A local Balinese priest leads the ceremony as Lily and Gede are married. He references the island’s gods. And Gede talks of his family’s attitudes about the work they do, stating that “nature, God and people” must work together in balance for life to be in harmony.

David, Georgia, Wren and Paul all visit a local temple that Gede says is cursed and delivers bad luck for visiting couples who are not married. While there, Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake.

In the course of their wedding vows, Gede and Lily are symbolically bound together in a ceremony. Someone mentions the story of a man who had to go through a painful circumcision in order to marry the Jewish woman he loved.

Sexual Content

Lily’s college roommate and best friend, Wren, is depicted here as something of the prototypical party girl sidekick who plots out her vacation by the number of condoms she’ll need to pack. (In Wren’s case, it’s scores.) For instance, when Lily and Wren are leaving for vacation, David calls out, “Make good choices.” To which Lily replies, Always! while Wren snorts, Never!

After that we see Wren flirting with locals in Bali and hitting the bar. In comparison, Lily appears almost chaste. She and Gede kiss; and Lily wakes up, soon after they meet, in his bed (while he says that he slept on the floor). But those are the only hints at intimacy.

Georgia, however, makes no secret of her affair with a young, handsome pilot named Paul who’s half her age. When we first see them together, they passionately kiss and caress each other in public. And later we see them together (dressed in sleepwear) in bed. Paul eventually proposes.

Georgia and David get blazingly drunk and end up in bed, too. She’s wearing his underwear and he’s in bed with no underwear (fully covered) because he had gone skinny dipping the night before. (We see a pile of his clothes by the room’s private pool.) But the two have no memory of what happened during their blackout drunken spree.

We glimpse women in bikinis on the beach, and Lily wears a pretty skimpy two-piece suit, too. David and Georgia kiss. Later in the movie, Wren gives Lily the remainder of her vacation condoms.

Violent Content

Someone gets bitten by a snake, and someone else sucks out the numbing poison. When David meets Gede’s Balinese father, the older man says that they must ceremonially slash each other’s forearms with a large knife … before laughing it off as a joke on the American visitor.

Someone accidentally head-butts Georgia in the face. A dolphin attacks someone in the water and bites his leg. During the Balinese wedding ceremony, Gede has his incisor teeth filed (in a seemingly painful way.)

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word and three s-words are mixed in with one or two uses each of “d–n,” “a–hole” and “b–ch.” Jesus’ name is misused once, and God’s is misused seven times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The first time we meet Wren, she is swigging out of a bottle in her and Lily’s college dorm room. And she is often sipping from a glass of some alcoholic beverage (or several at a time) thereafter—frequently complaining of horrible hangovers.

David drinks quite a bit, too, after he realizes how closely he’ll have to work with Georgia. (As mentioned above David and Georgia get staggeringly drunk while playing a beer-pong like game with Lily and Gede.) We see many others drinking champagne, wine and mixed drinks in various settings as well. Someone gets sick from imbibing too much alcohol.

After being bitten by a venomous snake, Paul is taken to the hospital and given prescription drugs that make him groggy.

Other Negative Elements

David and Georgia do all they can—from lies to theft—in their concerted effort to upend Lily’s relationship with Gede. And David warns Gede to avoid having children because it will later increase the turmoil involved if they get divorced. Eventually Lily gets wise to her parents’ actions and questions if she is their greatest mistake.


You have to ask yourself what it is you’re looking for from a romantic comedy that revolves around young love and squabbling parents.

If you seek lots of charming rib-ticklers, appealing characters and a believable slice of love-will-prevail reconciliation, well, you’ll find a splash or two of that here. Still, despite the story’s beautiful backdrop, the writing here is pedestrian, the tale predictable and the language occasionally rough-edged—even as stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts work hard to make you believe. (Clooney, in particular, is well worth watching.)

Where Ticket to Paradise really nails it is in its statements about marriage, family and relationships. Yes, the movie promotes a barnacle-covered, sleep-around-and-get-drunk worldview at times. But it definitively declares that committed love and marriage can make life richer and more fulfilling.

So, given this story’s virtues and vices, what are we left with? Well, this might not be the perfect rom-com vacation, but it does feature a few nice moments, some occasional wisdom about marriage and a pleasant view.

Logo for The Plugged In Show by Focus on the Family
Parents, get practical information from a biblical worldview to help guide media decisions for your kids!
Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.