As November withers away, Netflix is already celebrating the Christmas season with the release of “Falling For Christmas,” a film starring Lindsay Lohan and former “Glee” star Chord Overstreet. A lackluster addition to the canon of Christmas movies, “Falling for Christmas” leans heavily on clichés, ultimately failing to distinguish itself.
Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, a recently-engaged and spoiled heiress to a luxury ski hotel. When Sierra gets into a skiing accident and experiences amnesia in the days leading up to Christmas, she finds herself in the care of the handsome rival ski lodge owner Jack Russell, played by Overstreet.
The movie, unsurprisingly, is the textbook definition of a Christmas rom-com. It is ripe with tropes: the spoiled rich girl who lost hope in love; amnesia as part of the plotline; a little girl who loves Christmas; and even an elderly Santa figure sprinkled in. Lacking an innovative plot, it’s difficult for a viewer to maintain interest. The film’s excessive dependence on cliche is most evident early on when we learn more about Sierra, her fiancé and her luxury hotel life.
Lohan, in her acting comeback, plays a convincing stuck up heiress. Still, that does not make up for the fact that all of the supporting characters are unbearable. While Sierra’s dad is not as irritating, her fiance — Tad Fairchild (George Young) — and the other hotel workers are failed attempts at comic relief.
Tad is especially infuriating to watch — he has more screen time than the other supporting characters yet does not add anything to the movie. As an audience member, one cannot understand why Sierra wants to be with Tad and what the two even have in common besides their excessive wealth. Although he is supposed to stand in as a caricature of social media culture and self-obsession, the commentary linked to his character is poorly developed.
The saving grace of the movie is Chord Overstreet’s character and his chemistry with Lindsay Lohan. Jack is a charming love interest who, at his core, is a good guy audiences can relate to and swoon over. Sure, he lacks dimension and adds nothing new to the rom-com genre, but he makes the movie more endearing. His relationship with his daughter and commitment to his family-owned lodge is authentic and sweet. Plus, Overstreet does an excellent job delivering a charismatic performance as a classic romantic lead.
But Overstreet’s charm and his chemistry with Lohan are not enough to save the movie. The film does nothing to set itself apart from others in the rom-com holiday genre — it is essentially just a higher-profile version of the hundreds of Hallmark movies that came before.
That is not to say that the movie is unwatchable. If you are in desperate need of a new film to get you excited for the holiday season, “Falling for You” is definitely a viable option — that is, if you enjoy a simple plot set in front of a snowy background. Still, if you are looking for anything more original and with its own charm, you’re almost guaranteed to be better off with holiday classics such as “Love Actually” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”