When I was given the movie Falling Inn Love to review, I have to admit I cringed a little. The title is terrible. The premise of the story is a little unrealistic, to say the least, but I’m a sucker for a good romance, so I gave it a go. Written by Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Gillanoy and directed by Roger Kumble, it was filmed almost entirely in New Zealand, at the very least, I knew it would be beautiful.
Christina Milian plays Gabriela an unfulfilled designer living in San Francisco. In one fell swoop, she loses her job and her commitment-phobic boyfriend and finds herself drunk and entering a competition to ‘Win an Inn’. Of course, as the title suggests, Gabriela wins the competition. The Inn is in New Zealand so off Gabriela goes to claim her ‘dream’. She arrives in New Zealand and instantly meets the handsome, local building contractor, Jake (Adam Demos). Coincidence? Unlikely. The ‘magical’ Inn she finds, The Bellbird, has fallen into disrepair and what more should she need than a man who knows his way around a spirit level. Not only does Gabriela have to deal with broken taps and an ornery goat called Gilbert (show-stealing, I might add), there is one more Inn in the village with a bitter owner who wants The Bellbird for herself.
I am such a sucker for good side characters, and honestly, the entire Kiwi cast of the village was brilliant. I felt it was a perfect showcase of both the beauty of the New Zealand landscape and the people there. Norm (William Walker), the building supply shop owner was warm and hilarious, and honestly, he made me want that village to be real, so I could move there.
Honestly, this film wasn’t bad. It was cheesy in places but showed little glimpses of promise. The love story that is discovered in the walls of the inn was honestly more interesting to me than the one that was played out between the main characters. It’s a perfect movie for a night when you need something light and non-committal to watch with a glass of wine and some chocolate.
The Verdict – 3 out of 5 stars