November 10, 2022

“Falling for Christmas” Brings Lindsay Lohan Back into the Fold (Review)

Why do we continue to watch terrible Christmas movies? Are they a guilty pleasure, set to be indulged whenever we see fit, or are they a vice that we endure, despite the ever-present knowledge of how terrible they truly are? If so, why do we subject ourselves to them?

Image courtesy of Netflix

I know why I do it. I’m hoping that if I watch enough, I’ll come across one so spectacularly bad that the sheer fun of it will be worth the bearable torture I put myself through to get to that point. Unfortunately, you have to sift through more slog than not to get to that point, and thus I have discovered that Netflix’s
Falling for Christmas is not one of those movies. But it definitely has something that almost none of these television Christmas films do.

Lindsay Lohan, last seen in a major film production over ten years ago, has made her triumphant return to entertainment! When I heard the news, I figured that (with all this buzz) it must be a big-time studio picture, finally giving her the positive attention she deserves after years of brutal real-world difficulties.

But no! Lohan’s “triumphant return” is in Falling for Christmas, a Netflix original Christmas movie (released in mid-November), in which Lohan plays a spoiled heiress who loses her memory after a skiing accident, which places her into the care of a local lodge owner and his all-too-cute and innocent family. There are some subplots designed specifically to stretch this film into a feature length which are barely worth mentioning, but safe to say, there’s not much else to hold one’s interest for an extended period of time. This is as cookie-cutter as they come.

The only thing that Falling for Christmas has going for it that sets it apart from every stock Hallmark movie is the undervalued talent that is Lindsay Lohan. You could argue that the presence of Chord Overstreet, who plays the hunky lodge owner, could constitute the same magnitude, but this movie would not be on anyone’s radar without Lohan’s (heavily marketed) involvement. It may be blasphemy to all the Loheads out there, but her performance here isn’t even anything special. It’s embarrassing, frankly, that they got her only to repeat cheap tricks like forcing a scene in which her character sings “Jingle Bell Rock” (Mean Girls, anyone?) and delivers some of the most painful dialogue I’ve heard in a while. She deserves so much better.

Image courtesy of Netflix

Falling for Christmas
has all the factors that would make a rom-com decent; competent set-up, a good inciting incident and wacky side characters. But none of them are done with a single shred of originality, which essentially nullifies all the effort spent on setting everything up. Not to mention that the entire crux of the film (Lohan’s amnesia) directly clashes with her horrifically basic arc of being a spoiled rich girl and learning to be better.

But what can I say? Movies like this, produced very quickly for a cost-saving amount of cash, work for a lot of people for any number of reasons, so who am I to take that away from them?

Falling for Christmas is streaming on Netflix now.

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