Movie Review: Falling Inn Love

Falling Inn Love is a terribly cheesy movie title that teeters precariously on the verge of becoming a full-blown dad joke. Much like the ridiculous premise of winning an inn online, the trick to Falling Inn Love is to look past the silliness and just go with it. Once you’ve got past the opening credits, inn-winning and find yourself in New Zealand, things start to improve quite drastically as a city girl partners with a contractor to fix and flip a “rustic” inn.

One of Falling Inn Love’s saving graces is its star in Christina Milian, turning in a bubbly and lovable performance – reminiscent of Jennifer Lopez. She stars opposite the earthy Adam Demos, a casting decision that may irk locals who take exception to having an Australian romantic lead. Their push-and-pull screen chemistry works in a Lorelai and Luke dynamic that recalls Gilmore Girls with an ensemble of delightful characters, making this small town resemble Star’s Hollow. William Walker deserves a special mention for his scene-stealing as the quirky hardware store manager, Norm or Norman.

This unabashed romantic comedy comes from Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy, the writers of Love, Guaranteed, and Just Friends director Roger Kumble. The set up is fairly predictable as a complete opposites cute-meet plays out and Gabi tries to start over without the help of Jake, who happens to be the only decent contractor in town. A cookie-cutter romantic comedy, it’s pretty straightforward as typical supporting characters come out of the woodwork to stir things up.

falling inn love movie

“Okay, now I can see it.”

While it’s not aiming for the realism of Under the Tuscan Sun, what makes this “romcom” unusual and charming is that it’s set and shot entirely in New Zealand. Besides being an unusual setting for anything other than J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, the country’s natural beauty adds a touch of pastoral bliss, further enhanced by the homeliness and quirk of its townsfolk and a goat named Gilbert.

While Gabi doesn’t have a daughter who could be her sister, the dynamic has a few shades of Gilmore Girls in its fun, heart and warmth. The breezy and comfortable spirit of Falling Inn Love is what makes it enjoyable, as satisfying as a warm cup of tea or an even bigger cup of coffee. Leaning on its village for a cultural refresh, its charming co-leads, fun-loving characters, gentle ebb-and-flow and romantic setting – it ultimately wins the day.

The bottom line: Sweet

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