Julia Roberts says a good rom com movie script “didn’t exist” for her for nearly two decades

Julia Roberts says a good romcom movie script “didn’t exist” for her for nearly 2 decades

The actor spoke about the “joy” of making people laugh, balancing work alongside family life and why she hasn’t starred in a romcom in nearly two decades.

Pretty Woman, The Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, My Best Friend’s Wedding: Julia Roberts is the undisputed queen of the quirky 90s romcom.

However, it’s not escaped fans noticing that it’s been a pretty long time since we last saw her in such a role, with perhaps 2010’s Eat Pray Love and Valentine’s Day her most recent outings in the genre.

Roberts isn’t just incredibly talented, as evidenced by her impressive roster of Academy, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards. She brings a signature warmth to even the spikiest of roles, turning cynical sex worker Vivian and flighty Maggie Carpenter into beloved characters, making her the ideal romantic lead. 

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Roberts with Richard Gere in 1990’s Pretty Woman
Roberts with Richard Gere in 1990’s Pretty Woman

The actor opened up in a recent interview with The New York Times about her notable absence.

“People sometimes misconstrue the amount of time that’s gone by that I haven’t done a romantic comedy as my not wanting to do one,” she said. “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. They didn’t exist until this movie that I just did that Ol Parker wrote and directed.”

The project in question is Ticket to Paradise, which sees Roberts reunite with her Oceans 11, 12 and 13 co-star George Clooney.

Julia Roberts and George Clooney will star in Ticket To Paradise
Julia Roberts and George Clooney will star in Ticket To Paradise

The Hollywood legends will play two divorced parents who rush to Bali to stop their teenage daughter from rushing into an unwise marriage, like their own. However, anything can happen in paradise, as they soon learn.

The film is set for a September 2022 release.

Of starring in Ticket to Paradise, Roberts shared that her involvement was pegged on whether Clooney agreed to star opposite her, as the film was one that “only works if it’s George Clooney.” “Lo and behold, George felt it only worked with me. Somehow we are both able to do it, and off we went,” she said.

Roberts as Maggie Carpenter in The Runaway Bride
Roberts as Maggie Carpenter in The Runaway Bride

When asked if it was easy to star in a romcom again, Roberts agreed that it was “a joy to play in that sandbox” given “it has been a long time.”

“I love to laugh and be funny. 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,” she continued.

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Speaking about the pressures of navigating her career alongside her family life, she said: “Particularly with my daughter, I do have a sense of responsibility for showing my children that I can be creative and that it’s meaningful to me — so meaningful that for periods of time I will choose to focus on that almost more than my family, which has been hard for me to come to terms with.”

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