The movie, directed by Steven Tsuchida and streaming on Netflix, follows Erica Wilson (Milian), a struggling singer who takes an entertainment gig at a luxury resort in Mauritius after a career setback. When she arrives, she’s shocked to find that she has to sing at weddings, and it turns out that her ex-fiancé, Jason (Jay Pharoah), just so happens to be getting married there. Erica and Jason struggle with lingering feelings. At the same time, Erica is getting to know Caleb (Sinqua Walls), Jason’s dreamy older brother, who is a retired special forces operative.
The charm of romantic comedies is, in part, their predictability, with characters working through personal hang ups and finding love by the end. The genre’s popularity points to a basic human need to be seen, and to have tenderness and vulnerability in our lives. But the success of a rom-com hinges on viewers rooting for the film’s relationships. In “Resort to Love,” the lack of discernible chemistry between the characters makes it hard to believe they belong together.
Pharoah and Milian’s performances are stilted and emotionally barren. Erica and Jason were a couple for four and a half years, but it’s unclear why. There is no familiarity in their interactions, and the only thing over which the pair seem to bond is their would-be wedding song, “No One” by Alicia Keys.
Walls is a bright spot in the film, and gets not nearly enough screen time. His Caleb is the perfect rom-com protagonist: beautiful, charming and grounded. But that can only nominally boost this film, in which the only surprise is that Caleb falls for Milian’s one-note Erica at all.
Resort to Love
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 41 minutes. Watch on Netflix.