Lindsay Lohan and Chord Overstreet star in “Falling for Christmas.” Photo courtesy of Netflix
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 (UPI) — Falling for Christmas, premiering Thursday on Netflix, is cliche and cartoonish, but there are entire channels that trade in these kinds of Christmas movies. So Falling is just celebrating the formula and joining in on the fun.
Sierra Belmont (Lindsay Lohan) is the heiress to the Belmont Summit Resort. Her father Beauregard (Jack Wagner) wants her to take a position at the resort and her influencer boyfriend, Tad (George Young) proposes.
After a mountain accident, Sierra gets separated from Tad and wakes up with amnesia. North Star Lodge owner Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet) lets her stay at his place, which is in financial trouble, while she regains her memory.
Falling for Christmas packs a lot of rom-com and Christmas hallmarks, pun intended, into one plot. Within the first three minutes, it establishes that Sierra is afraid to tell her father she doesn’t want to be in the hotel business but isn’t quite sure what she does want.
Just a bit further into the first act, Beauregard turns Jake down for an angel investment that could save his lodge. Tad is also presented as a complete buffoon whom the audience will hope Sierra outgrows.
Now, it is quite a stretch that nobody at the hospital, the police or the town recognize the daughter of a famous magnate. Just go with it, because Sierra does.
Before she loses her memory, Sierra boasts a fabulous wardrobe which Lohan can still rock. A red pantsuit and purple fur snowsuit with matching lipstick are highlights.
Now she has to wear lost and found Christmas sweaters and flannel. She has enough spoiled rich girl attitude to complain about it, so maybe that’s in her bones rather than her memory.
The woodland animals scare Sierra, and she is surprised to learn she doesn’t know how to make beds or cook eggs. She remembers she doesn’t eat bacon but then discovers she likes it, so hopefully she wasn’t keeping kosher before.
Sierra tries doing chores around the lodge to help remind her of normalcy. Lohan does good slapstick with bed sheets, cleaning toilets and laundry shenanigans.
By the time Sierra gets comfortable helping out with Jake’s Christmas activities, Lohan and Overstreet have really good chemistry. She also has a sweet connection with Jake’s daughter, Avy (Olivia Perez).
By the way, Sierra does get her fabulous wardrobe back in act three. They don’t really stick Lohan in flannel for the whole movie.
Meanwhile, Tad has an adventure with a mountain man, Ralph (Sean Dillingham) trying to get back to society. The one abandoned thread is the hotel staff looking for Sierra, who don’t actually leave the premises of the resort for four days.
The audience for Falling for Christmas probably recognizes how this ends just by reading the first three paragraphs above. The Christmas rom-com formula is about a sense of familiarity, and Falling for Christmas makes viewers root for the inevitable.
Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001 and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Read more of his work in Entertainment.