Linda Oppelt



NEW YORK. While the mostly agreeable comedy “Ticket to Paradise” (PG-13, Universal) won’t necessarily transport viewers to cinematic heaven, it will take them to a good place, both visually and thematically. Set in Indonesia (though filmed in Australia), the film showcases enchanting island landscapes as well as ethical ideas generally in keeping with Gospel-based morality.

Decades after their acrimonious divorce, ex-spouses David and Georgia (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) can agree on only one subject: their enthusiastic love for their daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). Thus, when they’re temporarily thrown together for Lily’s graduation from law school, the former couple’s longstanding antagonism breaks out afresh amid petty squabbling and mutual putdowns.

Embarking on a well-earned vacation to Bali with her best friend Wren (Billie Lourd) in tow, Lily promptly falls for local seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier). When mom and dad learn that Lily has abandoned her plans to become a lawyer and intends instead to marry Gede and settle down in his homeland, they’re horrified at what they regard as her excessively hasty change of direction.

Uniting forces, the duo travels to the South Seas resolved to prevent the forthcoming nuptials.

Behind the often-witty jibes of the script director Ol Parker co-wrote with Daniel Pipski, viewers of faith will discern congenial values. Although undergirded by romanticism rather than religion, the screenplay upholds lasting marital commitment — and ultimately depicts the reasons for David and Georgia’s split as insufficient to justify their alienation from each other.

Some may question the movie’s exultation of traditional native culture over that of the West and may chafe at the facile nature of its message, delivered in passing, about the importance of living in harmony with nature. But few will be inclined to quibble with its celebration of the close ties by which Gede’s extended family are shown to be bound to one another.

As Lily struggles to assert her right to make her own decisions, and David and Georgia reconsider the choices they’ve made in the past, lapses of behavior as well as a few off-color sight gags are included in the proceedings. Though confined to the edges of the story, these incidental elements make “Ticket to Paradise” an expedition that’s safest for grown-ups.

Look for: An implicit endorsement of the permanence of marriage. Look out for: A premarital situation, some sexual humor, a single use of profanity, numerous milder oaths, at least one rough term and several crude and crass expressions.

The Catholic Moviegoer’s guidance is M — suitable for mature viewers.

 (Formerly a staff member for Catholic News Service, John Mulderig has been reviewing visual media from a Catholic perspective for 15 years. His column is syndicated by Catholic Review Media. Follow his reviews on Twitter.com/CatholicMovie.)

Previous Article Legatus events provide ‘intermission’ for busy parents
Next Article Catholic Center at The Citadel announces new Mass time
291 Rate this article:
No rating

Linda OppeltLinda Oppelt

Other posts by Linda Oppelt
Contact author
Please login or register to post comments.

Contact author



By John Mulderig/OSV News

John Mulderig 0 72 Article rating: No rating

NEW YORK. Four and a half decades on from the bicentennial year in which it premiered, the “Rocky” franchise is still a cinematic gift that keeps on giving. Thus “Creed III” (PG-13, United Artists), the ninth film in the series, is a thinking-person’s sports drama that will appeal even to those with no particular interest in well-choreographed slugfests.

THE CATHOLIC REVIEW: Diving Deeper Into the Lenten Season - Book recommendations to help adults and children grow in their faith

by Deacon Rick Bauer

Deacon Rick Bauer 0 36 Article rating: No rating

February and March are the months when we participate in the discipline of Lent. Fasting, praying, giving alms, confession, adoration — all good activities anytime — find even more purpose when we observe them in Lent. Though we are deep into Lent at this writing, there may be some ways that we can invest even more in our observances, and sometimes a good book can direct our thoughts.


By Kerry Peetz

Kerry Peetz 0 66 Article rating: No rating

Oh, the luck of the Irish! They say there are two kinds of people in the world: the Irish, and those who wish they were. But whatever our Catholic heritage, we all have gotten to experience a little St. Patrick, Emerald Isle magic, shamrocks, and corned beef (thanks to the blessed dispensation) on March 17.

Revive Alive! The Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Colorado Springs

Linda Oppelt 0 38 Article rating: No rating

"To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. (Cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 919) Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1387.