Movie Review: Falling Inn Love (2019)

Now Available on Netflix 

Clicking a link in an unsolicited email is enough to give you pause. Being asked to use your credit card to pay for the chance to win an inn on the other side of the world is when most people would probably press delete.

Not so for Christina Milian's Gabriela Diaz, who — buoyed by wine as well as the loss of her job and her boyfriend in the span of a week — is ready to take a risk. Taking a chance not only on the contest but also a plane and three buses, Gabriela journeys to New Zealand upon learning that her one in a million shot paid off.

Paid, however, is the optimal word as Gabriela discovers when she arrives to find the inn falling down. A veritable money pit that's occupied by a goat as well as its earlier owner in the form of a ghost, Gabriela realizes that she'll have to max out her credit cards if she has any hope of matching the inn to the sparkling profile picture that first inspired her to click.

Applying for an entrepreneur visa and enlisting the help of the best contractor on the island, the ruggedly handsome Jake Taylor (Adam Demos) who doubles as the volunteer fire chief and is also a dead ringer for Simon Baker, Gabriela gets to work as an attraction develops between the two.

A pleasantly fast-paced — if admittedly formulaic — featherweight romantic comedy, Falling Inn Love is the equivalent of a paperback summer beach read you'd find in the airport next to a bottle of sunscreen.

Written by Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett, scripters of the similarly appealing made for cable romcoms Geek Charming with Sarah Hyland for Disney and Fir Crazy with Sarah Hyland for Hallmark, there's very little to differentiate this breezily charming Netflix title from the type of fare that Hallmark premieres every Saturday night (and all through the holidays). In fact, with two attractive people fixing up a bed and breakfast in the country with a goat, its plot is fairly similar to one of Hallmark's best loved original movies, All Of My Heart, which has spawned two sequels.

Yet, thanks to some inventive subplots involving old love letters and green energy as well as the likable ensemble cast who bring easy smiles as friendly townspeople immediately ready and willing to become Gabriela's new best friends, Cruel Intentions director Roger Kumble makes the material sing. As a result, Falling Inn Love feels fresher than it is in reality.

Filling every frame with warmly lit HGTV renovation show porn (and even dropping in a reference to Chip and Joanna Gaines) along with the scenic beauty of its New Zealand setting, while it isn't quite as effective as last year's outstanding crop of Netflix summer efforts including To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Falling Inn Love is just the thing to close out the season. In other words (and especially when you need a pick me up), this streaming title is one link that's definitely okay to click.

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