Julia Roberts ‘returns’ to Bali in an upcoming rom-com with George Clooney shot in Australia

Julia Roberts (right) stars alongside George Clooney in an upcoming romantic-comedy Ticket to Paradise. Photo: Screengrab.
Julia Roberts (right) stars alongside George Clooney in an upcoming romantic-comedy Ticket to Paradise. Photo: Screengrab.

Remember Eat, Pray, Love? Whether you liked it or not (no judgment, either way), the 2010 biographical romantic drama based on author Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir has, for better or worse, influenced how and why people travel – especially in Bali.

The impact of the iconic memoir-cum-movie can be seen in people quoting the title on their travel social media posts, searching for the very healer (RIP) featured on Eat, Pray, Love to have their own slice of Gilbert’s journey, to an AirBnB even marketing a house where Julia Roberts, who played Gilbert in the film, and Javier Bardem, who played Gilbert’s love interest, met and got those Bali loving vibes in Ubud.

An upcoming romantic comedy flick, Ticket to Paradise, sees Julia Robert’s return to the Island of Gods, this time with Hollywood hunk George Clooney. Scheduled for release in October this year, the Ol Parker-directed film follows two divorced parents flying to Bali to sabotage a planned marriage between their daughter (played by Kaitlyn Dever) and a local man named Gede (played by French-Indonesian actor Maxime Bouttier). 

Well, sort of, since the film’s principal photography actually took place in Queensland, Australia between November of last year and February. It was understandable, perhaps, to shoot the movie there due to travel restrictions in Bali at the time.

The shooting took place on Haslewood Island and production crews reportedly attempted to make it Bali-like by featuring local fishing boats and beachside huts. 

Universal Pictures released a trailer for the movie yesterday, and the reaction on Indonesian social media has been mixed, to say the least.

Many pointed out that the movie was not actually shot in Bali, while others said it was understandable due to constraints brought about by the pandemic and that the film promotes Bali nevertheless. One commenter pointed out that Bouttier, who plays a Balinese man, is not a native of the island.

All being said, are you ready for the de facto Eat, Pray, Love part 2?

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