Resort to Love review

Resort to Love is a cute and funny romantic comedy that manages to overcome one very shaky plot twist to make for a worthwhile Netflix watch. 

Erica (Christina Milian, Falling Inn Love) thinks she’s finally on the verge of her big breakthrough that’s going to propel her music career. But a disastrous launch party sinks those chances and sends Erica spiraling into reminiscing over her fiancé, Jason (Jay Pharoah, All My Life), ending their engagement. 

Taking her friend up on an offer to get away from everything, Erica agrees to travel to a resort and perform as the longue singer. It’s not the glamorous career she envisioned, but it’s hard to beat the view and she’s surrounded by encouraging co-workers, like jack-of-all trades Barrington (T.J. Power).

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Things are going so well Erica has almost managed to get over her heartbreak and plunge back into the dating scene when she meets up with a handsome guest, Caleb (Sinqua Walls). Only catch is he’s Jason’s former soldier brother at the resort for Jason’s wedding to Beverly (Christiani Pitts). Let’s pretend that in the four years Erica and Jason were dating she never saw a picture of her potential brother-in-law even if they managed not to meet while he was in the service. 

With Jason back in her life, Erica starts having second thoughts about their relationship, which is made even more complicated as Jason seems to have some unresolved feelings too. It doesn’t help that Beverly is incredibly nice and welcoming. As long as Jason and Erica keep their engagement a secret. 

There’s definitely some traces of Forgetting Sarah Marshall here with the luxurious island getaway serving as the unexpected reunion of two exes. Resort to Love lacks the wide variety of wacky supporting characters, but it’s got a strong enough ensemble, including Karen Obilom (Doom Patrol) as Beverly’s sister and Alexander Hodge (Insecure) as Jason’s best friend Christian, to keep the laughs coming. 

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Director Steven K. Tsuchida (Cobra Kai) avoids going too slapstick with the comedy elements even with some scenarios that were ripe for clichés like Erica’s fear of geckos and Beverly singing karaoke. Tscuhida makes a solid pitch for tourists to visit Port Louis, Mauritius with its gorgeous blue water and spacious beaches. Occasionally, scenes look like they were shot on the most isolated locations making it hard to buy into this spacious, popular resort setup. 

Milian isn’t stretching playing a singer, but she’s proving to be a reliable performer in the rom com genre. She’s game to be the butt of jokes while having an easygoing manner that typically makes her characters easy to root for a happy ending. Walls is smooth and he makes for an easy romantic comedy lead with a charm that goes beyond how he looks on the beach without a shirt.

Pharoah and Pitts are both strong in roles, which easily could have gone a disappointing way. Pitts makes Beverly seem like a dream fiancé and isn’t vilified for the sake of making Erica look better. Pharoah gives Jason enough depth that he doesn’t just come off like this indecisive, insecure guy stringing along two women. Jason’s even got some issues he needs to work out with Caleb in another subplot. 

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Screenwriters Tabi McCartney and Dana Schmalenberg (Single Ladies) desperately try and get themselves out of the corner they’ve painted the script in by setting up a love triangle with two brothers. It’s such a weird dynamic on both perspectives.

It would have been so much easier if Caleb were Jason’s friend. Outside of a soap opera, there’s a loyalty brothers would have that would have prevented this subplot. Dating your brother’s ex-fiancé is an awful look no matter how off the charts the chemistry. And it also makes Erica look terrible for falling for her fiancé’s brother. That’s just not cool and puts Erica in the unenviable position of being a family wrecker.

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This subplot is an impediment to the movie and it seems like McCartney and Schmalengberg realized this too late as they try and limit the typical rom com interactions with Caleb and Erica. It doesn’t help and never manages to not feel weird. 

That major hang-up aside, Resort to Love checks in with good laughs, a charming cast and a brisk run time to make it worth a quick destination choice for your weekend viewing. 

Rating: 7 out of 10

Photo Credit: Netflix

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