Everyone Shut Up, Lindsay Lohan Is Back!

Dec 23, 2022

It feels like it’s been forever, but in fact, it’s actually only been a couple of years since Lindsay Lohan last graced our screens. But, it’s been a while since she’s headlined a mainstream project. The teen queen of the late 90s and 2000s who gave us iconic roles in immediate classics like The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and of course, Mean Girls, is back. It’s hard to separate the film from Lohan’s own real-life story. A victim of relentless paparazzi, Lohan’s private life was splattered all over the tabloids throughout the 2000s. Now, she’s back with a bang, and hopefully, after all that has happened to her contemporaries such as Britney Spears, she’ll finally be treated with more decency than she got when she was in her early 20s. Look, Falling for Christmas may not be the comeback on the same scale as Iron Man or Pulp Fiction were for their leads, but it’s a lot of fun and nostalgic to see a former teen icon find her way back to the place that catapulted her career: comedy.

Sierra Beaumont (Lohan) is a spoiled but sweet hotel heiress (a bit of a wink at Lohan’s former best friend, Paris Hilton), who just can’t figure out her place in the world. Her devoted millionaire father (Jack Wagner) is keen to have her work for the business, even if it is in a made-up role. He promised her long-deceased mother that he’d take care of their daughter, but Sierra wants to be able to take care of herself. As she holidays at one of her father’s ski resorts, she is joined by her obnoxious, fame-obsessed influencer boyfriend, Tad Fairchild (George Young). It’s clear that Sierra and Tad don’t have a lot in common other than their penchant for champagne and caviar, but that doesn’t stop Tad from trying to make them social media’s favorite couple.

While all this is going on, Jake (Chord Overstreet) is the owner of the nearby North Star Lodge, a far cry from the opulence and exclusivity of the Beaumont resort. Jake needs investors to keep the lodge afloat, but after getting rejected by Sierra’s father, it seems that all hope is lost. When Sierra and Tad are atop one of the nearby mountains, he proposes, but before she can even say yes, they both fall down the mountain and get separated. Jake finds an unconscious and concussed Sierra but even after medical treatment, she can’t remember who she is or where she came from. Jake welcomes her to stay in the lodge as she tries to jog her memory. She meets Jake’s mother-in-law Alejandra (Alejandra Flores) and his daughter, Avy (Olivia Perez). And well, you can probably guess what happens for the remaining hour.

Image via Netflix

RELATED: ‘Falling For Christmas’: Lindsay Lohan’s “Jingle Bell Rock” Music Video Brings Up ‘Mean Girls’ Memories

Yep, Christmas on steroids, a dead wife, a still-grieving but emotionally available handsome handyman, and a beautiful city woman who gets swept up in the simple life: It’s a Christmas romance just like any other. In terms of plot, there really isn’t much that separates Falling for Christmas from any other movie like it. It’s corny, it has bad CGI, and its story is completely predictable. But, is it enjoyable? Yes. More so as a group of friends screaming as Lohan calls back to Mean Girls by singing “Jingle Bell Rock” or even just enjoying seeing a once mistreated public figure finding her feet again. And if you’re in need of feeling “Christmassy,” this film ought to do the trick. You may need sunglasses for the number of fairy lights though. The story unfolds just how you expect it and gets tied up in a massive, red, sparkly bow in the end. No nuance, trope subversion, or freshness here, unfortunately. It’s a shame, as you could have a lot of fun with these two leads, but Netflix seems to have taken the easy path with this one.

The most pressing question I had before watching this was; can Lindsay Lohan still act? And the answer, I’m happy to say, is yes. She still has that earnest style of comedy that reminded me of Cady Heron. That doe-eyed, fish-out-of-water look makes her the perfect center of a comedy. But she still has the edge she used to perfection in Freaky Friday that tones down the sometimes completely overbearing sweetness of this film. Chord Overstreet is the ideal leading man. He’s charming, funny, hunky, and has plenty of charisma to share with the room. He and Lohan have somewhat good chemistry, but they work best together when in scenes with Perez and Carlisle, who polish off a solid lead cast. George Young commits beautifully to the doofus comic relief, making Tad more outlandish as the film goes on but never descending into complete absurdism. Every actor probably knows that this script is pretty useless, but that doesn’t stop any of them from putting their best foot forward. Including Lohan, they all look like they’re having a blast and that really comes through to the audience.

Image Via Netflix

The major disappointment I had in this film is its handling of a certain subplot. Tad is extremely queer-coded and without giving any spoilers, the movie almost (heavy emphasis on almost) plainly says that he also likes men. But that’s the thing, it never actually says it. Not every movie has to have a queer character, but Netflix should know that if you want diversity in your movie, you have to commit to it. It made the movie feel like it was from 2004. Trying to keep the LGBTQIA+ community happy by including a queer-leaning character, but not directly addressing it so Utah moms don’t call the police. It’s even more insulting when the LGBTQIA+ community has always been a massive supporter of Lindsay Lohan all through her career. It’s a sad step backward and makes it feel like Netflix would rather have its cake and eat it too than commit to reflecting all types of audiences.

So, is Falling for Christmas in itself a good film? No. It looks like it was made on the cheap, it reuses jokes (one very clearly stolen from Dumb and Dumber), and has a completely unoriginal plot. But, is it an hour and a half of Christmas fun that can be enjoyed on a cold evening with friends? Absolutely. This film is very much going to be eclipsed by the fact that it’s Lohan’s return to mainstream movies. And that’s sort of warranted. Whilst watching it, I couldn’t help but feel a bit emotional at seeing someone who was so targeted and tormented by the press, every ounce of their life scrutinized, doing what they’re best at again. It may not be the comeback story that will be in the film history books, but it’s one worth recognizing nonetheless. And with another romcom lined up next year, Irish WIsh, it’s looking like Lindsay Lohan has found a comfortable (albeit not the best in terms of quality) place to come back to.

Rating: C

Falling for Christmas is now available to stream on Netflix.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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