Falling for Christmas REVIEW – Sweet & Sincere

Falling for Christmas has enough joie de vivre to recommend.

Falling for Christmas
Falling for Christmas

A cup of hot cocoa? Check. A warm, fuzzy blanket to snuggle into? Check. Tons of tissue because this movie is surprisingly tender and sincere? Check and check. As someone who grew up watching Lindsay Lohan movies, films like Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap, I was really happy when I heard that she was making a comeback after she signed a three movie deal with Netflix. However, with that knowledge also comes the reality that Netflix Christmas rom-coms are sometimes more miss than hit. So it was refreshing to discover that Falling for Christmas isn’t the train wreck I expected it to be, and ends up being quite a decent watch.

Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, daughter of Beauregard Belmont (Jack Wagner), who owns a top class ski resort. Her father’s offered her a job as Vice President of Atmosphere, but just like Sierra we know it’s an invented position, a way for her father to take care of her. Sierra doesn’t want the job but isn’t quite sure what else she can do, though her boyfriend Tad (George Young) is convinced that she’ll be a great influencer just like him. The opening moments are a tad cringe (pun unintended), and both Lohan and Young do overdo it slightly on the camp. They have no chemistry together, which is the point I know, but it’s just difficult to be invested with all their ridiculous behaviour. Things improve remarkably when they get separated, and the movie finds its legs after that.

After Tad proposes to Sierra, they both find themselves engulfed by a strong wind, and take serious falls down the slope. Sierra gets knocked unconscious and is found by Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet), owner of the humble ski lodge The North Star. She develops amnesia from her head injury, and can’t remember who she is – it’s a very standard Hallmark trope. Against his better judgement, Jake offers to host her at The North Star until she recovers her memory.

The doctor suggests routines would help Sierra to jog her memory, but as she sets about to do the chores required at the ski lodge, it seems like she has no skills at all. Some of these sequences are very reminiscent of her earlier film Just My Luck, and coupled with the inclusion of Lohan singing “Jingle Bell Rock”, this movie knows exactly what its viewers want.

Jake, who’s already dealing with struggles of his own, is frustrated with Sierra’s inability to do anything, and perpetually screw things up. But still, he continues to treat her with kindness, and encourages her to keep learning even if it ends in failure. It’s quite lovely, especially since both Lohan and Overstreet sell their blossoming relationship. Also, Olivia Perez, who plays Jake’s daughter Avy, is the most adorable little girl. Children in Christmas rom-coms can be quite unrealistic, since sometimes they’re all sunshine and goodness, like Avy is in this one, but Perez is such a natural that it doesn’t even matter.

The movie brings plenty of laughs by having Tad wander out in the snowy wilderness with his newfound friend Ralph, who saved him and helps him get back to civilisation. Young is so effusively campy and the contrast between the two is so fun to watch.

So yes, this movie made me laugh a whole bunch, and its sincerity made me tear up in moments. There’s so much about good will and good deeds, and that being kind and generous doesn’t mean you have to lose. It’s saccharine in a good way, and though it isn’t my most favourite Christmas rom-com, it will do the trick if you’re looking for something romantic and hopeful for this time of year.

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Falling for Christmas
Falling for Christmas may be formulaic, tropey, and very cheesy, but the actors give it their all, and there's a certain sincerity in that.