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Image / Living / Culture

After 20 long years, Julia Roberts is returning to the rom-com — could ‘Ticket to Paradise’ save the genre?


By Sarah Gill
24th Apr 2022

PICTORIAL PRESS LTD / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

After 20 long years, Julia Roberts is returning to the rom-com — could ‘Ticket to Paradise’ save the genre?

Set for release this October, Roberts’ return to the realm of romantic comedy might just signal an uptick in the genre as a whole.

Over the course of the 1990s, Julia Roberts became a household name for her portrayal of the vivacious Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman, the cunning Julianne Potter in My Best Friend’s Wedding, and the complicated starlet Anna Scott in Notting Hill.

From her bouncy girls to her raucous laugh, she drew a nation in and has kept us rapt for generations. Lacing up her trainers in Runaway Bride, embarking on a journey of self-discovery in Eat, Pray, Love, and single handedly bringing down a polluting power plant in Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts has starred in some of the very best flicks to ever grace our screens.

Now, two decades since her rom-com swan song with America’s Sweethearts, the queen is back with a bang.

Starring alongside George Clooney for the fifth time, Ticket to Paradise follows a divorced couple reuniting in an attempt to stop their daughter from making the same mistakes they made 25 years prior. Travelling to Bali to intervene, we’re confident that the all-star cast will deliver.

Written and directed by Ol Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), the wider cast includes Billie Lourde (Scream Queens, American Horror Story), Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, Unbelievable) and Lucas Bravo (Emily in Paris).

Speaking to the New York Times about her long-awaited return to the genre and retreat from Hollywood, Roberts says, “It wasn’t by design, so much as not finding something that I was interested in. I was surprised how quickly the years seemed to go by.”

Thankfully, the actress has assured us that muscle memory was quick to kick in. “I love to laugh and be funny,” she says. “You get into that mode of those endorphins going off when you’re clever and people going, ‘Oh!’ Then that becomes this automatic thing where you’re always thinking in terms of creating fun. It’s a joy to play in that sandbox. It has been a long time.”

“People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by as me not wanting to do one. If I had read something that I thought was that Notting Hill level of writing or My Best Friend’s Wedding level of madcap fun, I would do it,” the actress tells the Times. “They didn’t exist until this movie.”

Married to cinematographer Daniel Moder since 2002, Julia Roberts has also spent the last year raising her three children, Hazel, Phinnaeus and Henry. Taking great pride in being at home with her family and being a homemaker, Roberts says that she’s ready to show her children just how meaningful creativity is to her.

Set to hit theatres this autumn, I suppose we’ll just have to rewatch Julia Roberts’ entire back catalogue until Ticket to Ride’s 21 October release.