Truthfully, it’s taken me a long time to warm up to Christmas movies. Every year Hallmark, Lifetime, and most recently, Netflix released a number of cheesy and generic movies following a similar format of a big-city girl finding love and the meaning of Christmas, usually in the form of a quaint small-town guy. Netflix’s “Falling for Christmas” follows the template we’ve seen countless times, but if you’re a fan of turning off your brain for some light holiday magic, this is the perfect movie for you.
In a welcome comeback, Lindsay Lohan stars as Sierra Belmont, a pampered hotel heiress whose father appoints her to “vice president of atmosphere” (Is that a real job?) at his mountain resort in Aspen. However, Sierra wishes to make her own way in the world and doesn’t want to work for her father. In order to get the perfect winter photos, Sierra, dressed in a fuchsia snowsuit-despite the fact she doesn’t ski- and her influencer boyfriend Tad (George Young) venture to the top of a secluded mountain. To Sierra’s surprise, Tad proposes, and in a very slapstick comedy moment, a gust of wind separates the couple, and Sierra takes a mighty tumble down the mountain.
Knocked unconscious, Sierra is found by Jake Russell (“Glee” alum Chord Overstreet), the kind-hearted owner of the Northstar Lodge, a small family resort that is hanging by a thread to stay open. Since Sierra is amnesic from the fall with zero recollection of even her name, Jake offers her a place at his lodge until she gets back on her feet, to which Sierra responds, “Do they have room service?” At the Northstar, Sierra bonds with Jake’s precocious daughter (Olivia Perez), his warm and supportive mother-in-law, and does tasks around the hotel, hoping to jog her memory.
While cute and sweet, Chord Overstreet fills the role of a cookie-cutter nice guy that’s needed for a movie, but his acting lacks substance making him feel easily replaceable. Thankfully, in her first starring role in almost ten years, Lohan has enough comedic chops for both her and Overstreet. If she can revive her career starring in Netflix rom-coms, I would call that a win. She proves to have enough campy energy and slapstick comedy skills to carry the silliest scenes. Even the over-the-top and vapid Tad (the movie doesn’t have nearly enough of him) manages to have an amusing arc featuring an unexpected friendship with a wildness expert named Ralph, who helps Tad get back to safety.
“Falling for Christmas” could basically be described as a Christmas version of “Overboard” minus the creepy elements, and all the characters are much more likable. Probably from this short review alone, you can guess how this movie is going to end. It doesn’t have much substance, and it’s predictable, but “Falling for Christmas” still manages to be a fun flix to get you in the holiday mood. (Stream on Netflix)