Two unutterably gorgeous Mexican actresses dressed in assorted sexy dresses are about all there is to recommend the perky but drab romantic comedy “Don’t Blame Karma!”
Aislinn Derbez and Renata Notni play siblings, Sara and Lucy. A harmless “incident” in childhood has convinced Sara (Derbez) that she’s “cursed,” that all the luck in the family went to her sister.
Seeing as how Sara’s a T-shirt shop owner in sleepy Mérida and Lucy is a world famous runway model, maybe she has a point.
But only in the movies is anyone who looks like the stunning Derbez (“A la Mala,” “Miss Bala”) presented as a shrinking violet, the not-quite-as-pretty older sister to The Face of Fashion.
The reason Sara has believed this all her life is that her “first love” in high school, the one she tried out her light-sensitive dye clothing designs on, brushed her off way back when. And now Aaron (Gil Cerezo) is “Aaron Starr,” a global pop idol.
This all comes back to her as Lucy stops by the house Sara inherited from their grandmother to announce her engagement…to Aaron.
The “romance” here is Sara pining for Aaron, Aaron secretly treating her as his muse and Lucy wondering if this famous-model/famous pop star match is “the one.” I mean, even an influencer wants there to be fireworks.
The “comedy” comes from their parents, who might be splitting up thanks to Mom’s passion for an “open marriage,” and from Sara’s own romance with Roberto (Giuseppe Gamba), who is better at phone sex than the real thing.
The “purge my bad karma” plot is strictly a non-starter, with this Elisa Miller (“The Pleasure is Mine”) film foundering as it searches for something else compelling to hang this story on.
It’s a timid TV-MA outing, so the sex farce possibilities are left mostly unexplored. The “fashion” and “influencer” elements are undeveloped, and the whole “pop star” idea is a bust, as are the tunes that our Aaron is supposed to make the ladies swoon over.
Scene after scene lacks spark or fire or heart. I’d quote a great line from it (either in Spanish, or dubbed into English), but there are none, only this one which may explain everything.
“In Mérida, time doesn’t matter.”
Indeed. Time stands still for the 85 minutes it takes “Don’t Blame Karma!” to play out.
Rating: TV-MA, sex, profanity
Cast: Aislinn Derbez, Renata Notni, Gil Cerezo
Credits: Directed by Elisa Miller, scripted by Fernanda Eguiarte and Marcelo Tobar. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:25