Falling Inn Love only falls flat

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Meredith VanSkiver

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Surprising no one who knows me, I can proudly say that I love rom coms. 

Let me amend that; I love good rom coms. A romantic comedy that’s sharp, fresh, and well thought out can become an instant classic in the “its Saturday night, and I’m bored” category. In the new age of streaming, Netflix has produced a plethora of original content, many of which are romantic comedies. 

For the most part, they’re pretty bad and highly forgettable. However, occasionally there will be a bright and shining stand out. I’m referring the smart and entertaining Set it Up or the creative and cutesy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Homeruns like these are far and few between, but once I find them it feels all too worth it.

Subsequently, I have taken it upon my self to do my civic duty to rom-com lovers everywhere to watch just about every new Netflix original romantic comedy so I can deduce the good from the bad. 

And take it from me: Falling Inn Love was bad.

Let me amend that; it was really bad. 

On paper, the plot is a typical cheesy romance. City girl Gabriela (Christina Milian) spontaneously enters a contest to become the owner of an inn in New Zealand. Being the film’s lead, of course, she wins the contest and then decides to fly over. Upon visiting the small town and realizing the inn is in much worse shape than she was promised, Gabriela decides to fix it up, enlisting the help of the kiwi contractor Jake (Adam Demos) who she meets along her way.

It sounds like a perfect recipe for love, just like every other great rom-com before it. Oh, if only.

My main gripes against the film are purely technical. One of the most immediate things I realized was how weird the editing was. Shots would fade in and out of each other like a crappy low-budget student film. The cinematography was weak as well. I wasn’t expecting it to be Oscar-worthy by any means, but I was expecting the camera work to be at least a little bit exciting. 

The pacing was wonky, too. I understand the objective to move the plot forward but the opening felt very rushed to get Gabriela to New Zealand, and it made me as a viewer disinterested with the plot by how quickly they were breezing through all the setup.

The writing was another definite flop. In my opinion, the content of the script is truly what makes or breaks a good romantic comedy. Falling Inn Love relied too heavily on cliches to be original and had characters that were too shallow and inconstantly written to be remembered.

It might sound knit-picky to talk so much about the technical shortcomings of the film, but for me, if a movie doesn’t succeed at the bare minimum, then it is hard to enjoy.”

The acting was fine, considering the dialogue was hard to work with, but I always felt like Milian was overacting just a hair too much. Demos was decent but didn’t do anything with the role to set him apart from dozens of love interests before him. 

So, while Netflix does have a few fantastic films in the rom-com genre, don’t waste your time trying to see if Falling Inn Love is one of them.

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