Lindsay Lohan has been largely out of the spotlight for the past few years. After becoming an iconic child and teen actress in “Parent Trap,” “Freaky Friday,” and “Mean Girls,” she spent years in and out of rehab. Now she’s back for her “Lohanaissance” after nabbing a big Netflix deal that starts with Lohan starring in the recently released film “Falling for Christmas.”
In the Hallmark-style Christmas movie, Lindsay Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, a spoiled heiress who has never held a job or made a bed in her life. She has just gotten engaged to an equally spoiled Instagram influencer when she falls off a cliff in a skiing accident. At the bottom of a snowbank, she is discovered by Jake Russell, the recently widowed owner of a small ski lodge. When the doctors find that Sierra has been hit with amnesia, Jake offers to host her until she remembers who she is. Can you guess what happens next?
Falling for Christmas has all the cheesy Christmas movie tropes, starting with the title. I’m always here for a good Christmas pun and enjoy watching a cheesy rom-com with a cup of hot cocoa, but Falling for Christmas really takes the cheesiness and runs with it — or, should I say, falls off a cliff with it. The movie is unrelentingly corny, but it does star the redheaded Millennial icon. Plus, there are a few takeaways from the movie that are so ridiculous that they’re actually pretty funny.
You Should Always Be Happy
Let’s start with Jake, played by actor and musician Chord Overstreet. He’s a widower, which means he’s sensitive and dateable. Of course, the sympathetic picture wouldn’t be complete without an adorable daughter who just wants him to be happy for Christmas and spouts lines like, “Haven’t you heard, Dad? Christmas is the time for miracles.”
Jake finds Sierra’s incompetence off-putting — though what could he expect after enlisting the woman with the traumatic brain injury to help him around the lodge? — but what’s really holding their budding romance back is his tragic backstory. An angel tree topper he bought with his late wife is their MacGuffin, the thing that briefly keeps them apart until Jake, not 10 minutes later, decides he’s moved on enough to have Sierra help him put it atop the tree. His wife has been in the ground not two years, and he and his daughter (and his mother-in-law!) are ready to bring a stranger who doesn’t understand how to pour laundry detergent into their family.
The mental state of Jake’s daughter, Avy, is especially concerning, considering that she gets to be sad about her mom for just one scene to heighten the drama. After that, her supporting character lines are delivered with an aggressive optimism that makes her seem less like a Pollyanna and more like a case for getting to therapy.
Even Bad Guys Should Be Happy Too!
Sierra’s fiancé Tad is a bad guy. Okay, not a bad guy — he’s not evil or anything — but he truly lacks a single redeeming quality. Instead of the work-obsessed, big-city boyfriend of yesteryear, he’s a vapid, self-centered social media influencer. Really a sign of our times, which is why he should have received his comeuppance in the end.
While Sierra is staying with Jake until she can remember where she belongs, Tad is trekking home on foot from the site of their ski accident. He meets an outdoorsman with whom he forms a weirdly homoerotic bond. And when he returns to civilization, he’s delighted to be reunited with Sierra.
That is, until she breaks up with him. He takes the news well, asking if he can post about it to his followers. Before he packs up into his limo, he asks a male hotel staffer who has been hovering about throughout the film if he’d like to join. Moving on so soon and so — unexpectedly.
Netflix probably threw in this plotline for a few woke points, but the message that it really sends is that everyone deserves a happy ending. And when you’ve spent the film snapping selfies and crying over stained haute couture, you don’t deserve to end the film in a new relationship after your girlfriend rightly dumps you. Sierra even tells him, “You’re a great guy, but I’m just not ready for this yet.” Girl, no, he’s not! That’s kind of the whole point. Let’s get back to bad endings for bad characters.
Crony Capitalism Is the Answer to Your Problems
The plot really takes an unfortunate turn at the end, when the town comes together to save Jake’s financially insolvent ski lodge. We’ve heard throughout the film that the lodge isn’t doing well because people don’t appreciate the small comforts in life — and also because Jake is a terrible businessman. As friends pour in to offer him money It’s a Wonderful Life-style, they say things like, “When we got married, we could not afford a honeymoon. Jake, you gave us the biggest suite in the place for the weekend, champagne and everything, and you wouldn’t take a dime for it.”
We get that Jake is trying to be a nice guy, but you can’t just give away your services for free and expect to stay afloat. And Sierra wants to give up a cushy job offer from her dad to work with this bozo?
This isn’t even the worst part, though. After private money starts pouring in, the mayor tells Jake that the town council has proposed designating his lodge as a historic site, which will allow it to receive funds and grants for renovations. Jake is literally taking taxpayer money through a government bailout to fund his dumpy lodge because he has no business sense. I’d much prefer the sentimental display of local philanthropy to this. The lesson of the movie is that if at first you don’t succeed, try crony capitalism.
I wish I could say that Falling for Christmas was entertaining, but even by cheesy Christmas movie standards, it falls flat. The budget must’ve been taken up by Lohan and Overstreet, but, despite these two singers appearing in lead roles, the movie doesn’t even give them the chance to display their musical talents. Instead, it relies on their acting chops, which, in the case of Overstreet, are pretty much nonexistent. The bloopers that play during the credits have more humor and genuine personality than any moment throughout the film.
For Christmas movies this year, it’s probably best to stick with the classics. But if you’re looking to enjoy the Lohanaissance, Lohan will be appearing in two more Netflix projects in the upcoming years. With a better script and costars, she might just have a chance to shine.
Don’t miss anything! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get curated content weekly!