By Jordan Galan
“Christmas is the time for miracles,” says child actress Olivia Perez in Netflix’s new film “Falling for Christmas.” Unfortunately, it’s not Christmas, and there are no miracles that could have saved the film. “Falling for Christmas” also stars “Mean Girls” actress Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet and George Young. While Netflix released the rom-com on Nov. 10, the film did not kindle any joy for the upcoming holiday season and only created nonsensical cliches, cringe-worthy subplots and terrible acting.
From the opening sequence we are promptly introduced to Sierra (Lindsay Lohan), an entitled heiress of a hotel ski lodge, and her self-absorbed fiance Tad (George Young). The film proceeds to follow their lavish lives in their melodramatic engagement gone wrong as both experience a terrible fall down a ski hill. As Sierra tries to recover from her accident, she is taken under the care of Jake (Chord Overstreet), a single father, and his family who reminds her what Christmas is all about.
To say that the film did not follow every cliché in the book would be a lie, as it seems that every recycled subplot has made its way into the script. The classic rich to humble plot line is muddled with the overall mediocrity presented by each overarching theme. From the redundant accident to amnesia trope to a struggling single father trying to make ends meet, there are no fresh ideas to make this film worth watching.
The scenes never failed to seem rushed and overplayed, forcing the audience on a wild sleigh ride. The forced Christmas magic adds a layer of confusion that makes the film difficult to resonate with. While it is a Christmas movie, I still can’t wrap my head around why it was released over a month prior to the holiday. I assume the producers wanted to generate some holiday buzz before all the Christmas movies start to roll in, but in doing so, it missed the grace period in which the film could at least have been deemed average. However, it’s not like the film’s stars helped remedy the script’s shortcomings.
While the script is dull in substance, the actors did not add any flavor that could have saved the film. It was painful to watch each performer attempt to add a level of depth in their character only to fall short by a landslide. The middling performances of each of the film’s stars only propelled the film into further turmoil.
When asked about how she would describe her character, Lohan told Netflix’s fandom site, Tudum, that Sierra was “Extravagant. Temperamental. Glamorous,” which is everything she is not. While her character did come off as spoiled at times, it missed the flare and pizzazz that makes every rich kid worth hating. This is extremely disappointing as “Falling for Christmas” was intended to be Lohan’s big return to the acting world.
Since starring in the horror-thriller “Among the Shadows” in 2019, the once-prominent actress took a break from the big screen. After combating personal trials such as alcoholism, substance abuse and run-ins with law enforcement, Lohan wanted to focus on bettering herself and her wellbeing before returning to her acting career.
"I took almost a decade off of being on set," Lohan said in an interview with Good Morning America. "When I came back on to set this time, it felt refreshingly exciting again, which I really needed. I wanted to get to the point where I was craving being on set to really be there."
“Falling for Christmas” did not provide the feel-good ambiance that most rom-coms strive for and was a let-down in the much anticipated screen-return of Lohan. I can only hope this film does not set the tone for future Netflix holiday releases, or it is going to be a very depressing winter, indeed.