Don’t Blame Karma review – a cute, above-average romcom

August 4, 2022
E.C. Ryder 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
3

Summary

Don’t Blame Karma stands above Netflix’s romcom rabble with its production value and charming cast.   

3

Summary

Don’t Blame Karma stands above Netflix’s romcom rabble with its production value and charming cast.   

This review of the Netflix film Don’t Blame Karma (2022) does not contain spoilers.

It’s an interesting experience, watching a romcom—it always carries a vague sense of deja-vu. They are probably the most rigidly structured, expectation-driven films out there, even more so than horror movies, and yet people (including me) love them. We love seeing the same ol’ romantic beats and cliches over and over again. We don’t need the genre reinvented. And Don’t Blame Karma, directed by Elisa Miller from a script by Fernanda Eguiarte and Laura Norton, certainly does not reinvent the rom-com genre. But that’s OK, because it hits those romantic beats and cliches quite well. 

A regular of Mexican romcoms, Aislinn Derbez plays Sara, a thirty-something woman who has converted her late grandmother’s house into a small shop that sells gaudy t-shirts to tourists, but who holds higher aspirations to become a fashion designer. These aspirations, along with other parts of her life, are held back by Sara’s belief that she is cursed with bad karma (hence the title). 

When she was a child, Sara blew out the candles on her younger sister Lucy’s birthday cake and ‘stole her wish.’ In retaliation, Lucy angrily told Sara that she was going to steal all her wishes for the rest of her life. This statement, coupled with her fierce jealousy of her sister, lead Sara to live her life in fear of bad karma. She blames her failed romance with Aaron, her high school best friend, on karma, and she refuses to pursue a career in fashion design out of fear of the curse. Sara must overcome or give in to this bad karma when Lucy — now a model/social media influencer played by Renata Notni — visits with her brand-new fiancee. It’s (surprise!) Aaron, the man Sara still loves, played with laid-back charisma by Gil Cerezo.  

I won’t spoil anything, but c’mon, there really isn’t anything to spoil—the film progresses largely how you would expect. As the romance grows between Sara and Aaron, so does her fear of the curse. But predictability is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is a staple of the rom-com genre. Don’t Blame Karma does a lot of things right. The acting is excellent from the entire cast, and the chemistry between Derbez and Cerezo is palpable, which is essential for the leads of a rom-com. The cinematography and overall production value is surprisingly strong, especially during a scene where two characters search for flamingo feathers (although there are some CGI whales at the end of the film that look pretty god-awful).

Don’t Blame Karma certainly has shortcomings—it’s cliched, derivative, predictable, but as I mentioned earlier, these aren’t necessarily flaws for some people but are instead essential ingredients to a tried-and-true recipe. However, where Don’t Blame Karma goes wrong is how quickly it progresses the romance of Sara and Aaron. Almost immediately after reuniting, the two characters are utterly and obviously in love with each other. The joy, and frankly most of the drama, of romcoms comes from the slow development of the romance, the give-and-take of feelings, the ups and downs of the infatuation. Within the first 30 minutes of the film, Sara and Aaron are already at the height of their feelings. The drama is minimized because of this.

Overall, the question that needs to be asked before watching Don’t Blame Karma is a simple one: do you like romcoms? If the answer is yes to that question, then you’re probably going to have a good, if familiar, time with this one.      

What did you think of the Netflix film Don’t Blame Karma? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.

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