If you are a movie producer and decide to make a modern rom-com, we would guess Julia Roberts and George Clooney would be high on your wish list, with the built in audience they bring.

This film feels like a perfect package deal, designed to offer light entertainment, not offend and equally break no new ground.

Baby Lawyer-to-be “Lydia Cotton” (Kaitlyn Dever) decides to take a Bali “vacay” with her BFF “Kimberley” (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), it’s going to be all sunsets, cocktails and condom enhanced evening activities, if Kimberley has any say in the matter.

Getting stranded mid-ocean, on a snorkelling trip, as you do, they are rescued by handsome, sensitive, local seaweed fisherman “Gede” (Maxime Bouttier). Before you can say “holiday romance” marriage is in the air for Lydia and spending time at the bar, takes on a whole new meaning.

Meanwhile Lydia’s severely separated parents (Roberts and Clooney) both with successful careers, spend considerable time ignoring each other and staying out of each others way. Their only real lasting connection being Lydia and, we suspect, highly priced lawyers.

The couple bicker their way to the island wedding, having been seated together on the plane and conjure up a ridiculous plan to sabotage the wedding in any way they can. We’ll stop there with the plot details, any movie goer worth their salt can guess the rest.

The acting is fine in a phoning it in sort of way, clearly everyone is having fun whilst on location, with some clear stage work to save actually visiting some of the further out locations.

The film does make some effort to portray the local rituals involved and includes Indonesian actors to add to the authenticity.

Lydia and Gede make a fine couple and Roberts and Clooney just act as Roberts and Clooney, relying on their still considerable star power to coast through.

There is nothing wrong in that, just a shame the film did not take a few more risks, without the intended audience clutching their pearls.

The premise of the film, attempting to ruin your only child’s happiness because they might be making a mistake, bearing in mind you yourself are separated, contains some irony, intentional or not.

The ending alone drives a hole through any practical considerations, confirming the film is intended as wish fulfilment and, in that, fully succeeds it’s limited aims.

Certainly audiences were keen for a diversion, with box office north of $168m, we may well see more of these “package deals”.


In our current straightened times, arguably this is exactly what we need.

A couple of hours in pleasant company, no money worries, violence, climate change or hint of infectious diseases. Just palm trees, beautiful people, drunken dancing and sunsets, just what the doctor ordered.