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Resort to Love Review | Clichéd, Yet Compelling

Never did I expect to be compeled this much in front of a Hallmark-lite production, but here we are.

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Right from the get-go, it’s clear that Netflix’s latest production, Resort to Love, doesn’t much care about quality. Its aesthetic emulates the glossiness of a Hallmark, or Lifetime Original, and its plot is so unfathomably clichéd to the point where you can easily guess everything that’s going to happen a couple of minutes after the film started. See if you can guess where it’s going: one year after her fiancé, Jason (Jay Pharoah), breaks off their engagement, singer Erica Wilson (Christina Millan)’s career takes a nosedive and is now sent lounge and wedding singing at a resort in Mauritius. Lo and behold, that resort is also the place where her ex-fiancé is getting married (what a coincidence!). Erica, who still has feelings for him, starts to develop a friendship with Jason’s brother, Caleb (Sinqua Walls), which starts a will they/won’t they quasi-love triangle, akin to a classic Hallmark production. What happens next? Whatever’s your first guess is probably right (or not).

Yet, the movie feels quite entrancing. From the opening sequence where an artist invites Erica to a “listening party” and destroys his album so the world will never hear it, Steven K. Tsuchida’s film has a strange aura of anti-conformism. Most films of this stature will start with innumerable clichés, and end with innumerable clichés. Resort to Love doesn’t do that, and builds up Erica’s arc first. There’s this great (and completely random) scene in which she sings Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive as a sign for the audience that she’s gotten over Jason’s rejection and has started a better life in Mauritius. The camera starts to widen to a more blissful aesthetic, as neons fill the frame and the song starts to dictate its intercutting to scenes of Erica enjoying the Island. Right then and there, I knew the film would be different than previous Netflix productions of the same vein, most notably Falling Inn Love (which also stars Christina Millan).

Millan brings much-needed heart to her performance as Erica and shares terrific chemistry with its male counterparts. At first, her portrayal seems contrived in typical emotional beats we’ve seen long before, but as she lands in Mauritius, there’s this clear shift in personality that makes her character more compelling than when we first meet her in New York. She’s more jovial, carefree and starts to have fun with Jason and her fiancé, Beverly (Christiani Pitts), who is completely impervious to the fact that they were previously engaged. This makes for predictable, albeit hilarious comedy where Millan plays with Beverly’s cluelessness and calls out Jason to great advantage. Once Beverly (obviously) finds out about Jason’s previous engagement, there’s an even funnier scene that I won’t dare spoil that had me in stitches.

However, that scene reverts to a more Hallmark-friendly screenplay once it gets into a more dramatic, or dare I say, sentimental mood. It doesn’t get haphazardly sentimental, or emotionally manipulative as most Hallmark films do, but is on the cusp of being exactly like one. Heck, it starts the exact same way as a Hallmark film does: in the middle of a conversation where expository dialogue will fill in the gaps on what we missed. Then we have the overarching conflict that the protagonist will have to confront. She’ll ultimately succeed and fall in love again…of course…not with the one she initially was in love with. That’s always how those films end and Resort to Love doesn’t want to change that formula.

And that seems fine for the most part. There’s nothing wrong with doing something so terribly clichéd if the core of your film is somewhat enticing enough. And for Resort to Love, that seems perfectly fine. Millan, Pharoah, and Walls are all great here, bringing legitimately funny comedy to the table and building upon human relationships that seem not only completely palpable but plausible to the viewer. That makes the viewing experience particularly enjoyable for the skeptical in me who thought this would be a chore to sit through. And guess what? While the story isn’t perfect and steals many tropes from other romantic comedies, it still doesn’t make it terrible. Sue me.

Resort to Love is now available to stream on Netflix.

 

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Day Shift | Official Trailer – Netflix

A hard-working, blue-collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted 8-year-old daughter. His mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income: hunting and killing vampires.

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Genre:

Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Release Date:

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Director:

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Cast:

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Plot Summary:

A hard-working, blue-collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted 8-year-old daughter. His mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income: hunting and killing vampires.

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Stranger Things Season 4 : Volume 2 | Netflix

It might not work out for us this time. The epic 2-part season finale of Stranger Things 4 premieres July 1st, only on Netflix.

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Genre:

Horror, Sci-fi

Release Date:

July 1, 2022

Director:

Netflix

Cast:

Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer

Plot Summary:

It might not work out for us this time. The epic 2-part season finale of Stranger Things 4 premieres July 1st, only on Netflix.

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Genre:

Biography, Drama, Mystery

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