Falling Inn Love is a Hallmark Christmas movie without the Hallmark and without the Christmas. But, if you want romance, here is to Falling Inn Love . . . with New Zealand. Neither of the stars crossed my path before this, but Christina Milian is apparently quite the singer and, lo and behold, appeared in Hallmark Christmas Cupid in 2010. Some of you may remember her from 2013 Dancing With The Stars. Still, New Zealand, and its quirky peoples, are the real stars of the film. The story is rather vanilla, the characters affable, the scenery fetching. On only 11 reviews, this Netflix movie gets a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a terrible 33% Audience score. It wasn’t that bad; I give it a middle of the road 2.5 Gavels.
Gabriela loses her job, and her love, all in the same week. Seeing a “Win an Inn” ad on social media, she sends in her entry, and wins. Leaving San Francisco for New Zealand to check out her new property takes a 13 hour plane flight and three bus trips. Jake, the town’s eligible bachelor and contractor, tries to help her, but his efforts are met with an “I can do it myself” attitude. Gabriela soon finds out that New Zealand is a bit more complicated than she imagined.
Christina Milian is Gabriela, perky and smart, except when Jake is around. Of course, then she must be silly and foolish. Rising high above the dialogue, I would like to see her in a better vehicle. Adam Demos, as Jake, is your much-better-looking Crocodile Dundee, but not Australian, as the storyline reminds us, several times. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is the ex-boyfriend, playing it so well that you instantaneously dislike him.
For those interested in such things, this is Netflix’ first movie shot primarily in New Zealand. Lots of movies use the hook of prime real estate being something less than promised (see below). For added comic relief, this one comes with its own goat. Falling Inn Love is what it pretends to be, a light piece of film to distract from the real world. Is that so bad? And, you get to meet a few Kiwis, too, and maybe a few tips on home repair. If your significant other is up for some snuggling, here is your B&B. Just remember that you might fall asleep. Like I said, is that so bad?