They’re still trying to make Linds happen.
Thirty-six-year-old actress Lindsay Lohan kicks off her umpteenth comeback this week with the lump-of-coal holiday movie “Falling for Christmas” on Netflix. But this isn’t LiLo’s first attempt at a splashy (or trashy) return. Or her second. Or her third.
The once-talented and spunky ginger made it big in 1998’s “The Parent Trap” with Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson, and then made “Freaky Friday,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and Tina Fey’s teen classic “Mean Girls” among other, lesser titles.
Running time: 93 minutes. Not rated. On Netflix Nov. 10.
After that, though, the movies became as bad as her behavior, as substance issues, multiple jail stints and on-set complaints racked up and were obsessed over by the press.
One early comeback was 2012’s “Liz & Dick,” in which she played Elizabeth Taylor … in a widely ridiculed Lifetime original. In 2013’s “The Canyons,” she took on the role of a volatile actress — a stretch! — opposite porn star James Deen. Critics killed that too. Her strange foray into reality TV arrived in 2019 with “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” about her party business in Mykonos, Greece.
In her encyclopedic attempts to restart her career, she’s done it all — and it’s all flopped. Now comes another avalanche called “Falling For Christmas,” a bunch of Hallmark-y malarkey that’s a yuletide ripoff of “Overboard.”
Lohan plays a Paris Hilton-like hotel heiress named Sierra Belmont, who is incapable of doing anything for herself and has just been given a fake job from her father as “Vice President of Atmosphere.” She has a stereotypically gay assistant and a “glam squad.”
“When people look at me, all they see is the spoiled daughter of Beauregard Belmont, the hotel magnate!” goes one of her immaculately written lines.
One day, she heads off to ski on an off-the-beaten-path run with her coiffed British fiancé Tad, slams into a tree and wakes up at a hospital, with no ID, unable to remember who she is. (Paging Goldie Hawn!)
To recover, she’s taken to the tiny, earthy North Star Lodge, which is plastered in seasonal kitsch and owned by Jake (Chord Overstreet), a widowed dad who can’t compete with big chains like the Belmonts’. To help jog her memory, Jake and his mother-in-law put her to work as a housekeeper.
One scene that should be funny but isn’t is Lohan trying and failing to put a fitted sheet on a bed while her co-stars affectionately laugh at her and force her to do pro-bono work for the health benefits.
Obviously, she begins to love the North Star, and falls for doofy Jake too. Sierra, suffering from temporary amnesia, then hatches the brilliant idea to throw a party for past guests of the lodge to remind them of their own memories made at the Lodge. How selfless.
By the way, one of the more preposterous notions of director Janeen Damian’s film is that a boutique hotel in a ski town like Aspen, Colorado, or Park City, Utah, would have any trouble whatsoever booking rooms during peak season.
Another problem is that Lohan and the filmmakers are afraid to make Sierra the slightest bit mean, lest she trample our manufactured Christmas cheer. She’s consistently ditzy, and yes spoiled, but learning how to make scrambled eggs is not a character arc. Her personality needs to be that of a metropolitan Ebenezer Scrooge who then turns into Ree Drummond.
Lohan being hopelessly one-note doesn’t help.
Her chemistry with Overstreet’s Jake is is barely palpable. The thing about these cookie-cutter holiday movies that have proliferated on streaming services with the disgusting efficiency of rats in New York is that they aspire to badness. They’re made for millennial mockery. If “Falling for Christmas” simply fleshed out Sierra more, and made us believe she was in love with Jake, not just grinning at everybody, we’d have a movie. Instead, it’s a predictable stunt.
Lohan has a multi-film deal with Netflix, and her character almost winks in acknowledgement of that fact.
“I’m not gonna be here long,” she says when she first arrives at the lodge. “This is only temporary.”
Oy. Until the next comeback then.