Knox (Todd Grinnell) is a contractor who gets the opportunity to take his wife Tracey (Mena Suvari) to Malibu. Sadly, Knox’s mother recently passed away, and now he has desires to renovate his mum’s beach house with hopes of selling it at a huge profit due to its prime view. Knox and Tracey have also been trying for a lengthy period to make a baby with no success so far. When Knox and Tracey move into the house, they are greeted with several challenges. Firstly, Knox struggles to get approval to redesign the home the way he wants, and he soon decides to build anyway, going against standard policies and ignoring building permits.
But what’s worse is the fact that a homeless woman named Bree (Kristin Bauer van Straten) has been living underneath the Malibu home for some time and has zero desire of moving out anytime soon regardless of the new owners. No matter what Knox and Tracey do, Bree refuses to move on. The police and even the people within the community can’t seem to help either. Now this husband and wife must work together to overcome all challenges. Still, naturally, Bree has interests in messing around with the new homeowners, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make them leave permanently.
Paradise Cove has the vibes of a cheesy midday movie. While the premise may sound silly, I felt given the cast, it certainly had the potential to be a solid and pleasing thriller. But sadly, the film is filled with characters (and performances) who are unlikeable. This is primarily due to the characters’ choices being all about their own interests. Watching leads tell lies to each other is also a reason I didn’t care to invest in them.
As the male lead, Knox is unlikable for pushing his interests with the home and breaking the rules. But his interactions with Bree are even more painful to watch. Instead of asking her to leave, he allows her to speak multiple times, allowing her to manipulate him even further. We see our leads fitting one lock on a door and having no further interest in other measures like security cameras or requesting a restraining order. Really? I found myself eventually asking, “How hard is it to make someone leave your property?”.
The film is most certainly crammed with multiple plot points, and the runtime overstays its welcome. Plot points including the leads trying to make a baby on multiple occasions, redesigning a home, struggling with money, telling lies, sexual tension with people other than their partner, dealing with the unwelcome guest Bree and the list goes on and on. Many situations in the film are also far too predictable and lack general thrills or excitement. In the end, this is a sleazy and trashy type of film which granted; some may still find pleasure with.
Overall, what begins with a promising premise gets cheesy and uninteresting very quickly. Watching a happy couple renovating with an unwanted, homeless person living underneath the home felt like it could be fun and thrilling. Unfortunately, not a lot worked for me here as a viewer. This was a painful experience as the leads themselves are unlikeable, and seriously, how hard can it be to kick an unwelcomed guest from a house? It’s crammed with side plots and predictable moments, and the quality of the plot and performances feel like a low-quality TV movie. If you’re in the mood for a film that is cheesy, sleazy and somewhat trashy, then a trip to Paradise Cove might be worth a view. Paradise Cove (2021) is Now Available on DVD!