Lindsay Lohan re-enters the chat
Lindsay Lohan makes a much-discussed return to uh, mainstream streaming film with Netflix’s Falling for Christmas. The thing about Lohan is that when she’s motivated, has a great script and great direction, she’s excellent. When they give here even moderately good writing and direction, she still shines. Lohan capably carries this enjoyably schlocky film on her back, proving she’s still got it when it comes to playing multiple characters. While her character Sierra isn’t an identical twin, her personality pre and post-amnesia is starkly different.
When we first meet Sierra, she’s a rich, incompetent hotel heiress whose father is pushing her to take a job as “Vice President of Atmosphere.” Sierra’s no fool – she knows her father made up this job title as a way of taking care of her, and she’s not sure she wants to take it. Even though she’s rich and conceited, Sierra is still reasonably likable, given she wants to make something of herself and treats her glam squad kindly.
However, the movie plays a little too hard on the trope of “insufferable city boyfriend” with Tad Fairchild (George Young), an influencer who cares more about likes than his relationship. It’s confusing why even the pre-amnesia version of Sierra would want to be with this annoying clown hustler, who discusses social media engagement with far more enthusiasm than he puts into his actual, real-life engagement. Nonetheless, Sierra slips his overly-large, definitely brand-sponsored yellow diamond onto her finger and poses for a snap. Moments later, they separate when they each fall off opposite sides of a cliff.
Enter Glee star and possible witch Chord Overstreet, aka Trouty Mouth. Jake is also in the hotel business, but Falling for Christmas portrays him as a… blue-collar ski lodge owner. OK. I’m from the Midwest, so I’ll just assume that is possibly a thing and move on with my life because if I think about it too hard, the logistics of being both a ski lodge owner and blue-collar will make my head explode. He discovers Sierra, rescues her, and offers her a place to stay with him, his mother-in-law, and his incredibly toothy daughter Avy. Seriously, this child is adorable but also very toothy.
The film trods some well-worn amnesia storyline territory as Sierra chooses “Sarah” as her new name after getting bonked on the head. Naturally, this blank slate of a woman is completely charming, and fits right into Jake’s family and life at the lodge, even though she can’t use a washing machine. However, Christmas movie lovers, myself included, have come to expect these kinds of tropes along the way to a happy ending. Which is good, because there are more, including a “must save the inn” fundraiser for the um, blue-collar ski lodge nestled in the mountains of a popular ski town with breathtaking views.
The film has a little fun with Tad Fairchild, who doesn’t have amnesia but is completely lost in the wilderness. No one knows to look for him because Sierra has amnesia, duh, but he finds his way to an ice fishing shack and some mental clarity. The film is cutesy and enjoyable, but there are plot holes wider than the gap between a blue-collar ski lodge and a fancy ski lodge.
For example, why does no one recognize famous hotel heiress Sierra Belmont for an entire week? Why does her staff decide she’s on a romantic vacation without her luggage instead of in potential danger? If the Northstar blue-collar ski lodge is so popular, why do they have no guests? Does Sierra have a home or does she go from hotel to hotel? Does Balthazar the horse only have that tiny shed to live in? I have more questions, but these are the main ones.
Christmas movie fans will enjoy Falling For Christmas. It’s sweet, has some funny moments, and Lohan does an admirable job. However, Netflix has better Christmas fare in my opinion, like the catfish comedy Love Hard, those Vanessa Hudgens’ Princess Switch movies where she plays lookalike princesses, plus that other Vanessa Hudgens movie where she meets a medieval knight, and the utterly charming miniseries Dash and Lily. All are infinitely superior to the dreadful and depressing “A Christmas Story” and you can play them 24/7 in its stead.