OPINION: ‘Falling for Christmas’ falls into festive genre fun


Photo courtesy of Netflix

For the past few years, Netflix has been battling with Hallmark and Lifetime to be the premier destination for cheesy Christmas movies and they certainly have a winner in “Falling for Christmas.”

In this, Lindsay Lohan returns to mainstream movies for the first time since 2013 with the first of a three movie deal with Netflix.

She stars as hotel heiress, Sierra Belmont, who gets into a skiing accident and suffers amnesia. Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet), the owner of a failing small town lodge, finds Sierra and takes her in as she tries to remember who she is.

As the story continues, Sierra and Jake fall in love with one another as Jake, his mother-in-law and his daughter try to keep their failing business afloat.

Despite being a cookie cutter Christmas movie, Lohan and Overstreet have just enough chemistry to make this one stand apart. As much as I’d like to say Lohan was the better performer of the two, Overstreet won me over as he is charming and heart-breaking all at once.

Lohan does play her character skillfully and her spoiled rich girl turned grateful and humble woman feels like a return to form.

It pokes a little fun at influencer culture through Sierra’s new fiance, Tad Fairchild (George Young). He is narcissistic and always searching for ways to go trending. The way his character talks suggests that nobody who wrote this movie has ever been on the internet. Despite this, Young plays Tad well as he exists to simultaneously provide conflict for Sierra and Jake as well as comedic relief.

There are some pretty obvious plot holes – how do you not remember a woman you spilt cocoa on yesterday? – but that is practically a staple of the genre. You aren’t turning on a Christmas movie for its innovative narrative structure.

It feels pointless to nitpick about the technicality of a Christmas movie, but some of the camerawork plays the wrong side of the line between heartwarming and sinister.

There is a Santa Claus figure that slightly influences the plot (I’m not questioning it). However, nearly every time he is on screen, he is staring just past the camera and he looks so suspicious. He doesn’t have enough screen time for it to ruin the movie, but it’s a little freaky.

Let me be clear, this is not some great piece of cinema nor was it designed to be. “Falling for Christmas” takes no risks and doesn’t have to. It is heart-warming, a triumphant return from Lohan and a good enough holiday movie if you’re looking for something new to add to the Christmas line-up.