The “elements” of “Resort to Love” add up to a better movie than this Hallmark-lite romance, a pleasantly-bland star vehicle for Christina Milian.
It’s a “get over that man” romance with Milian starring as a singer who lost her fiance to her career, and then loses her big break in a not-amusing-enough public meltdown that the star (Kayne Lee Harrison) who had her sing on his LP tosses, trashing the release.
And it’s set in the gorgeous, under-filmed island paradise of Mauritius, where shattered Erica (Milian) takes a gig singing at the Mer de Saphir resort, next to the “Jolly Rancher Blue” Indian Ocean.
The set-up? Erica’s ex, Jason (Jay Pharoah, utterly wasted in the part) is there, too. He’s getting married.
As Erica’s social media manager pal got her this “get away” on the condition that she sing in the lounge and at any weddings that come up there, well you see where this is going.
“Going” as onto the beach and across a rope bridge on a hike in the mountains, giving this Netflix movie its “best paid vacation ever” status for Milian (“Be Cool,” Netflix’s “Falling Inn Love”).
Other complications include the would-be groom’s hunky ex-military brother (Sinqua Walls, literally twice as tall as Milian), who might be her new love interest. If she’s up for that. If he was a little more interestingly written, that is.
And then there’s the bride, Beverly (Christiani Pitts), who doesn’t suspect a thing and thus befriends Erica and sets up many an awkward meal and conversation as the Big Secret is kept from her.
Steven K. Tsuchida’s film starts FAR better than it finishes, with broken-hearted Erica vamp-weeping through “I Had the Time of My Life” for another happy couple, and generally coming undone at everything in her life that has her “singing at weddings” on the cusp of 40.
The character’s interesting enough, with a newfound mistrust of men and confusion about lingering feelings for the ex. But there’s not enough for her to work. More scenes of Erica “playing along” yet undermining the upcoming wedding, suggesting inappropriate “our dance” wedding songs — “Unbreak my Heart” by Toni Braxton and Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” breakup tunes — would have helped.
Pitts throws herself into this and has the funniest line. “I will give you $200 to throw her OUT of this van…$500 if it’s still moving!”
These two didn’t need a sunnier movie to strut their stuff in. Mauritius is plenty sunny. But laughs and lump-in-the-throat moments are in too short supply for “Resort to Love” to come off.
MPA Rating: PG
Cast: Christina Milian, Tymberlee Hill, Sinqua Walls, Christiani Pitts, Alexander Hodge, Jeryl Prescott, Kayne Lee Harrison and Jay Pharaoh.
Credits: Directed by Steven K. Tsuchida, script by Tabi McCartney and Dana Schmalenberg. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:41