By Imogen Harbert, First Year, Film and Television
Falling for Christmas (2022) marks Lindsay Lohan’s long-awaited return to acting as she stars in this year’s formulaic Netflix Christmas film. In it, rich and privileged Sierra (Lindsay Lohan) must learn how to support herself after she falls off a mountain and is rescued by lovable widower, Jake (Chord Overstreet).
The acting was average at best, with many moments where it was obvious the actors were acting, such as Lohan’s use of overexaggerated facial expressions and Tad (George Young) essentially being a caricature of a social media influencer. That being said, both Lohan and Overstreet were fittingly cast and played their parts as best as the script gave them room for.
However, they had no chemistry, and the film would have been better if their relationship had been platonic, instead focusing on the film’s core message; that it’s important to help those in need. It’s further proof that casting two attractive actors together does not automatically mean they have chemistry.
The real letdown of this film though was the writing. The script is predictable, full of clichés and the jokes run flat. Whilst clichés aren’t always bad and are somewhat to be expected; this film lacked any originality to compensate for them. The almost kiss under the mistletoe was a big eye roller, and the constant reminders that Jake is the ‘nice guy’ in a small town got irritating very fast, especially with the third-wave feminist overhaul of ‘nice guy syndrome’.
Sierra does undergo development but her awful treatment of her staff and blatant ignorance of the world at times makes it very difficult to root for her. She’s certainly not charming despite the film's attempts to make her that way.
It is not to say that this film lacks self-awareness. Beauregard Belmont (Jack Wagner) is a name you could only ever hear in fiction, and Lohan sings along to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, paying homage to her infamous role in Mean Girls (dir. Fey, 2004) in a scene which was actually pitched by Lohan herself. Director Janeen Damian certainly knew that the biggest selling point of this film was Lindsay Lohan.
All of this said, Christmas films that are consistent and have no unrealistic sparkly moments are just not fun to watch. Audiences watch these Christmas films because they want a fun, heart-warming, and, preferably, comedic watch, not an Oscar-winning masterpiece. The film’s genre is what saves Falling for Christmas, ultimately making it a successful ‘it’s so bad, it’s good’ watch.
Featured image: by Scott Everett White/Netflix, courtesy of IMDB
Did you fall for Netflix's Christmas offering this year?