Falling Inn Love
Directed by Roger Kumble
Starring Christina Milian, Adam Demos, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman
Now streaming on Netflix
Once you’re beyond the ugh-inducing title, there’s nowhere to go but up with “Falling Inn Love.” And this Netflix release gets a little bit of lift courtesy of two appealing, easy-to-like leads, even though the paint-by-numbers storytelling keeps the movie tethered firmly to earth.
Gabriela (Christina Milian) is an ambitious businesswomen in San Francisco who suddenly finds herself minus a job and a boyfriend. So she enters an online contest and wins an inn in far-away New Zealand. Upon arrival, she discovers the hotel isn’t as picture-perfect as it appeared in the virtual come-on. It’s a wall-to-wall shambles with peeling paint, leaky faucets and a resident goat without boundaries.
What to do? Fix it up and flip it fast. Jake (Adam Demos), a local contractor Gabi runs into everywhere she goes due to the immutable laws of rom-coms, teams up with her to get the job done. No fuss, no muss, and, of course, no attraction between the fish out of water determined to make it on her own and the nice guy with a six-pack and some emotional baggage. As the plot takes the pair to a few picturesque locales, you see exactly where this is going. Then again, you always did.
Writers Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy and director Roger Kumble (“Cruel Intentions”) have peppered the plot with quirky side characters — chipper gay cafe owners, a lonelyhearts nursery owner who can’t get romance to bloom, a mercenary rival B&B owner, and that goofy goat. And there’s no shortage of tidy resonance, most notably building renovation as personal repair. That’s hardly ground-breaking. But if you’ve streamed everything else on your to-see list, “Inn” a pinch (ugh, again), this makes for a modest diversion.