2ticketsOh, the realization that you will not meet the goals you set for yourself at age 18.

Two Tickets To Paradise
Stars: D. B. Sweeney, John C. McGinley, Paul Hipp, Moira Kelley, Ed Harris, Janet Jones and Pat Hingle
Director: D. B. Sweeney
Scriptwriters: Brian Curry and D. B. Sweeney
Composer: John E. Nordstrom
Ensign Productions/Paramount Home Entertainment DVD
Rating: R for language, crude sexual references, some drug use
Running Length: 91 minutes
DVD includes a Director’s Commentary, Five Deleted Scenes, Out takes and Two Alternate Trailers.

Oh, the realization that you will not meet the goals you set for yourself at age 18. 20 years later, there is a husband (or wife) to cope with, the responsibility of children, aging parents, a boring job and people who casually mention to you the glories of your past. OK, rub it in again. Such is the premise of Two Tickets To Paradise, about three guys, Billy (D. B Sweeney  from “Deep In The Heart”), Mark (John C. McGinley  from “Scrubs ‘”) and Jason (Paul Hipp from "The Middle.") The trio have been friends through high school and beyond, faithfully drink beer (Sweeney even drives a beer truck) and certainly don't look appealing to their wives, or in Hipp’s case, any girl. They are not losers, but slowing losing it.
The first part of the film is the set-up where we see the situation of the three guys. Mark is separated from his wife and son because of gambling and isn't there when they need him. Mark, also, cares for his aging father, a feisty Pat Hingle in a cameo role. Sweeney (Billy) is married to Moira Kelly (his co-star from “The Cutting Edge”) and drives a beer truck to various locations including a strip bar. Jason works at a commercial store and likes one of the girls, but she doesn't take him seriously. The guys drink beer at every opportunity and wonder about their lives, which are slowly spiraling, boringly downward. It is when Jason wins two tickets to a media event in Florida, that things get interesting.  After enough rejection and loss, the guys manage to get time off and go, with the understanding that Jason gets one of the tickets and the other guys can decide about the other ticket. They drive in Mark’s beloved car with plenty of beer hidden around the car and Billy in the backseat with his cherished guitar.
Their adventures on the road are what make the film. Everything from stopping by the side of the road at night near an alligator pond, to losing the road map, to fighting for one of two beds in a cheap motel, to getting motel rooms confused, to visiting the home of Vanna White with unusual results, to placing the tickets in the glove compartment of the car. Oh, really?
Within the triangle of three guys, it is Jason who begins the discussions with rapid-fire talk and the other two find their niche to join in. Billy adds a remark and Mark is the downer and away they go. Truths come out such as Mark’s recurring gambling problems and the guys having to baby-sit him about this. It gets drastic. Ed Harris is the spooky owner of a roadside circus and plays a one-armed man who “…worked with Claude Beatty.” Eventually, the guys disagree enough about their situations and split. There is a freedom here and each discovers something within him that was there all the time, but pushed to the background, such as Jason and his darts skills. What will happen if and when the trip is over?
The film seems long, especially with one too many scenes of stopping by the side of the road. In the Deleted Scenes is one of Jason and his family, that could have been included in the film to help explain his background. All in all,Two Tickets To Paradise is a humorous film with life moments as to what holds a friendship together and what might cause it to have a crack or two in the structure. No one is perfect. Anyone who has ever gone on a road trip with friends can relate. My favorite scene was when there are alligators nearby and instead of running away from them, the person out of the car runs toward them. Photography is well-centered, especially the shots in the car and at night. This is an adult film so there is adult language and situations, especially a strip club.
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner