Yearly as we flip again our clocks and woodsmoke fills the crisp air, Christmas films start to fill the airwaves. Whereas Hallmark began their barrage of cinematic vacation treats as early as October this 12 months, Netflix waited till November to start their annual slate of romantic snow-filled sleigh rides. Main the way in which is “Falling for Christmas,” that includes the return of Lindsay Lohan in her first lead position since Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons” practically a decade in the past.
The directorial debut of co-writer Janeen Damian, whose filmography contains writing and producing a half-dozen vacation movies, is generic, but charming, following the well-worn template of metropolis lady discovering love and a less complicated life within the nation.
Like a tinsel-covered twist on “Overboard,” Lohan performs a resort heiress named Sierra Belmont who finds herself in simply this sort of scenario. Supplied the place of “Vice President of Environment” at her father’s unique ski chalet, she’s there per week earlier than Christmas to let him know she doesn’t assume the place is the proper match for her, regardless that she doesn’t actually know what else she needs to be doing along with her life as an alternative. All she is aware of is she needs to be recognized for greater than her father’s final title.
Decked out in attractive monocolor ensembles designed by Emerson Alvarez, just like the daring purple jumpsuit featured on the poster and a fuchsia snowsuit, Lohan embodies this character like a softer model of Sigourney Weaver’s character in “Working Lady.” She’s good natured, however she does bark orders like somebody whose privilege comes second nature. Lohan is at her greatest on this half of the movie, which permits her pure comedic chops to shine.
On her method to meet her vapid social media influencer boyfriend Tad (George Younger), Sierra meets cute with Jake (Chord Overstreet), the proprietor of a a lot smaller, struggling resort on the identical mountain. He runs into her whereas holding a cup of scorching cocoa given to him after Sierra’s father Beauregard (Jack Wagner) declines to spend money on his enterprise. Lohan screeching “My Valenyagi” again and again after a dollop of whipped cream finds its means onto her lapel is pure camp.
This unlikely duo, after all, meet once more after a disastrous off-the-grid engagement photograph shoot ends with Sierra and Tad toppling down a distant mountain. Whereas taking vacationers on an idyllic sleigh experience, Jake finds the now amnesiac Sierra, head-based right into a tree, whereas Tad finds himself spending 4 days with a survivalist named Ralph (Sean J. Dillingham).
All that is established with a breakneck screwball tempo within the first ten minutes, with Lohan greater than able to sustaining the prescribed rat-a-tat dialogue wanted to drag off the tone. She even goes all in on just a few slapstick moments that don’t fairly work, however add a pleasant wackiness that balances out among the movie’s extra saccharine tendencies. As Tad, Younger is completely hilarious, spewing out absurd strains with the utmost sincerity, which couple properly with the broad comedy his self-obsessed character calls for. If solely the movie had stored this zany model all through, it may have transcended its trappings to turn out to be a brand new basic.
In actual fact, the movie clearly is aware of Christmas films previous, with homages to movies like “Christmas In Connecticut” and “It’s A Great Life” peppered all through. Nevertheless, in contrast to these classics, “Falling For Christmas”’s romance plot is woefully uninteresting. Jake’s a widower, whose overly precocious daughter Avy (Olivia Perez) has made a want that Jake discover love. A mischievous wanting Santa promoting roasted chestnuts seems to magically deliver Sierra—in her amnesiac state referred to as Sarah—into Jake’s life. As he teaches her that there’s “one thing particular about easy issues,” she helps him divulge heart’s contents to love once more. Cue the syrupy music.
This is able to all be positive if “Glee” alum Overstreet’s Jake had any sort of pizzazz. Lohan is sport, clearly having a blast surrounded by all of the holly and ivy and kooky Christmas magic. But, Overstreet is caught as a bland “good” man with all his edges neatly sanded off. His supposed long-standing grief over his deceased spouse barely registers past a shallow glint in his eyes. Even Chase Ramsey in just a few transient scenes as Sierra’s new assistant Terry has extra chemistry with Lohan than her main man.
Nonetheless, Overstreet’s drabness apart, there’s a heat to this movie that is exhausting to withstand. Whereas veritable Christmas classics are like vintage glass ornaments handed down from technology to technology and positioned yearly with care on the household tree, the tv Christmas film advanced tends to pump out films which might be extra like disposable tissue paper, good for one use solely. “Falling For Christmas” lands someplace in the midst of this scale. It’s extra like a reusable ribbon bow. It is not nice. It is nothing particular. However you’ll be able to hold it 12 months after 12 months and place it on presents so long as you might have scotch tape—or Lohan’s irrepressible allure—to carry it collectively.
And so far as these sorts of semi-disposable vacation movies go, Netflix has been producing among the higher ones. Movies like Mary Lambert’s Scotland-set “A Fortress For Christmas” starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes, which, per the Netflix Christmas Universe rule that states a film from the earlier 12 months is featured on a TV display screen within the newest installment, is proven briefly when Sierra first wakes up in Jake’s resort. Each movies are elevated by the star energy of its leads and their administrators’ clear love of Christmas traditions and aesthetics.
Followers of Lohan or/and breezy vacation movies will certainly discover one thing to like right here, however these whose tolerance for this sort of treacle is low at greatest ought to most likely sit this one out.