Julia Roberts returns to the romantic comedy genre for the first time in over 20 years with upcoming Ticket for Paradise, and hopes audiences will finally appreciate the hard work that goes into feel-good cinema. Roberts dominated the genre in the 1990s with hits like “Pretty Woman” (1990), “Notting Hill” (1999) and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997). The Oscar winner recently told the New York Times that she believes moviegoers didn’t appreciate the rom-com boom enough and all the hard work that went into it.
“I think we didn’t appreciate the bumper crop of romantic comedies that we had back then,” Roberts said. “You don’t see all the trouble and the puppet strings because it’s fun and cute and people laugh and kiss and are mischievous.”
Roberts said of rom-coms, “This is a genre that I enjoy participating in and watching, and I think it’s hard to get it right. It’s really simple math, but how do you make it special? How do you keep people interested when you can predict what’s coming?
It takes skill to successfully answer these questions, and Roberts suggested that skill is often taken for granted given how cute and light-hearted rom-coms can be. The last time Roberts directed a romantic comedy as a lead lady was in 2001’s American Sweethearts (she had small roles in the romantic comedies Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and starred in romance dramas like Eat Pray Love and romance novels like “Duplicity”). Roberts revealed earlier this year that a lack of good scripts kept her away from the genre.
“People sometimes misinterpret the time that’s gone by when I haven’t done a romantic comedy as that I didn’t want to do one,” Roberts said. “If I had read something that I thought had the level of wacky fun of ‘Notting Hill’ or ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding,’ I would. They didn’t exist until this film [‘Ticket to Paradise’].”
When asked if she stayed away from romantic comedy for 20 years because “there wasn’t a single good script, not one,” Roberts replied, “Yes.”
Ticket to Paradise reunites Roberts with longtime friend and collaborator George Clooney. The two play a divorced couple who reunite to prevent their daughter from getting married. Universal Pictures will release the film in theaters on October 21.
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/julia-roberts-appreciate-1990s-rom-com-boom-1235362798/ Julia Roberts: We didn’t give enough credit to the rom-com boom of the 1990s