A Sweet Rom-Com
As an incurable romantic, I enjoy watching rom-coms. In fact, one of my favorite books is Pamela Jaye Smith’s wonderful Romantic Comedies: These Films Can Save Your Love Life. And while Resort to Love might not make it to Smith’s list, it’s refreshing to see a “PG” approach to this genre.
Christina Milian (Falling Inn Love) stars as Erica, a singer-songwriter who faces a double whammy when she gets dumped by her fiancé Jason (Jay Pharaoh/SNL) right before their wedding and also suffers a major loss in her music career. But Erica’s friend Amber (Tymberlee Hill/Due Date) talks her into taking a gig at a luxurious resort in Mauritius where she can also enjoy what a beautiful island offers.
Little does Erica know how this decision will change her life. First of all, (Spoiler Alert) she almost drowns, and Caleb, the handsome man who saves her (Sinqua Walls/Otherhood), seems almost too good to be true. We see the chemistry between them right away! She doesn’t know at this point that her savior just happens to be her ex’s brother.
Next, the big surprise for Erica involves meeting her ex and Beverly, his bride-to-be (Cristiani Pitts/Evil), in the lobby. To make matters worse, Erica is told by the very strict resort manager (Sylvaine Strike/An Act of Defiance) that she’s scheduled to sing at this wedding.
Trying to mend a broken heart,
Erica wants to make new start.
Island beaches and cool clean air
help her get rid of this despair.
Seeing her ex disrupts her plan.
Sing for his wedding? “No sir, man!”
But it’s her job. She cannot shirk.
Erica needs this kind of work.
We cheer for Erica’s song choice.
And for her lovely mature voice.
“Resort to Love,” a sweet rom-com,
seems short on com -- but strong on rom.
Although this plot includes many situations begging for comedy, the results are meager. For example, Erica’s first singing number flops (it’s supposed to) but the performance lacks humor, which could have been a funny show-stopper because Milian is talented enough to pull that off. And because of Pharoah’s work on SNL, I expected more laughs from his scenes.
On the plus side, Resort to Love does a great job showing two people who broke up meeting again and starting to wonder if they made a mistake. Also, the attraction between Erica and her ex’s brother adds a suspenseful romantic touch. But my favorite parts of this rom-com are the unusual friendship that develops between Erica and the bride-to-be plus Milian’s emotional rendition of a lovely Alicia Keys song at the end.
(Released by Netflix and rated “PG” by MPAA.)
Director: Steven K. Tsuchida
Screenplay Writers: Tabi McCartney and Dana Schmalenberg