Monday, September 2, 2019

Movie Review: "Falling Inn Love" (2019)

Director: Roger Kumble
Year: 2019
Rating: TV-PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

After going through a rough patch, a young green energy professional named Gabriela wins a free inn in New Zealand from an internet contest. She takes this opportunity as a chance to start a new chapter in her life, but the challenge might be harder than she anticipated. Luckily, the locals are friendly and are more than happy to lend a hand.

Movie still for the 2019 Netflix film Falling Inn Love where Christina Milian looks off into the distance next to her car in a quite New Zealand town
"See, that's the thing. I don't need saving." (Image Source)
Since they began producing their own original films, Netflix has started to build up a cache of romantic comedies reminiscent of the ones you might see on the Lifetime Channel or The Hallmark Channel. "Falling Inn Love" is yet another example of this. This movie is directed by Roger Kumble, who is known for directing films like "Cruel Intentions," "The Sweetest Thing," and "Just Friends." The screenplay is written by Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett, who are known for writing made-for-TV fare, including "Geek Charming," "Rag," and "Fir Crazy." The story here follows a young professional named Gabriela (Christina Milian), who has just lost her job and has just dumped her self-centered, controlling boyfriend who never listens and doesn't want a shelf at her place. Oh, and he also orders salads for her when they go out to eat and tells her she shouldn't eat bread. Seems like she was better off without him! After a night of heavy drinking, Gabriela wakes up to realize that she entered a contest and has won a free bed and breakfast in New Zealand, not a trip to stay at a BnB, a whole ass bed and breakfast property. It sounds too good to be true, and it turns out, it is. When she gets there, the once-beautiful, picturesque BnB is now a run-down old building in need of a lot of work. She decides to tackle the challenge and fix the inn but still needs a lot of help. For some reason (mostly because she "doesn't need saving"), she doesn't get along with the best contractor in the area, Jake (Adam Demos), despite the fact he is kind, helpful, is also a beekeeper/volunteer firefighter/wounded-and-brooding-soul, and isn't too hard on the eyes either. Turns out, the entire town rallies behind Gabriela and her challenge, and she and Jake eventually come to an understanding that could, maybe, possibly, lead to romance. Oh, who are we kidding? Of course it's going to lead to romance.
Adam Demos crouches down next to his truck to assess the damage in a still for Netflix's original film Falling Inn Love (2019)
"A house remembers everyone who ever lived in it." (Image Source)
Netflix is in danger, girl. With the creation of Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and NBCUniversal's impending streaming service, they are in serious jeopardy of losing a massive chunk of their subscriber base. Coupled with the recent announcement that they may henceforth step back from taking risks on films and TV shows, Netflix is going to have to do something drastic (like win Best Picture at the Oscars??) to give customers an incentive to stick around. Their infrequently-amazing-usually-subpar-to-garbage original films like "Falling Inn Love" are not a good reason to keep them. This movie is exactly what you'd expect from a formulaic, made-for-TV-style romantic comedy. It uses the "cheesy rom-com playbook" and follows it to the letter, so if you're into that sort of thing, you're going to be utterly thrilled. Director Roger Kumble and writers Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett dig up every trope they can find and slap it in this story whether it fits or not. It involves a woman going on a journey of self-discovery in a foreign land to remind her of what really matters in life. It is loaded with zany pratfalls often involving the inn's onery goat Gilbert (the real star of the show). It includes a random enemy of the same gender working in the same business who will stop at nothing to hinder the protagonist at every possible opportunity. Gabriela also discovers the beauty of quaint, small-town living and how it is soOoOoOoOoOo much better than life in the "hamster wheel of corporate big-city America." And finally, the pièce de résistance, it has a love interest who, despite being perfect in just about every way, is first hated by the protagonist. Eventually, *~against all odds,*~ Gabriela realizes ~*JaKe WaS tHe OnE fOr HeR tHe WhOlE tImE.~* Now, we're not total rom-com haters. We might have been able to see past all this formulaic crap if the characters had chemistry or if the romance was somewhat believable and, you know, made us feel something other than annoyance and eye-rolling, but they don't, and it isn't, and it doesn't. The characters are paper-thin, one-dimensional people who exist only to help or hurt Gabriela. Every once in awhile, Jake gets to deliver a snarky retort to Gabriela's initial assholery, but most of the time, the humor is absent, and the chemistry between Christina Milian and Adam Demos is forced at best. Oh, and did we mention Gabriela falls down, like, a lot? And she also screams at Gilbert the goat a lot. In fact, we've never seen or heard about anyone screaming at a goat as much as she does. We're fairly certain those viral screaming goats don't scream as much as Gabriela screams at Gilbert in "Falling Inn Love." It's a silly slapstick gag that happens over and over and over, only it isn't funny. None of the humor is. It's just so stupid and so cheesy, and while you are, of course, entitled to your opinion, it enrages us that people will consider this a "good movie" because *~it's SoOoOoOoOo CuTe.~*
Falling Inn Love 2019 movie still where Adam Demo's character Jake and Christina Milian's character Gabriela take a hike and have a picnic together
"Never assume anything on the internet matches its profile picture." (Image Source)
There will most assuredly be an audience for Netflix's latest romantic comedy "Falling Inn Love," but we're certainly not it. It has very few redeeming qualities. It's too poorly made, terribly acted, and cheesily written for us to take it seriously. We just saved you 98 minutes of your life by writing this review. Avoid this one at all costs, and if you have to watch a Netflix original romantic comedy, opt for "Set It Up" instead.

My Rating: 2.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
RT Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! The title alone sounded iffy and you pretty much said what I expected about it. I agree with you on Netflix having to make some changes. I hope they stop spending money on things like this, and maybe put more effort into their series because they legitimately have a few good ones. Hopefully The Irishman does well for them this year.