I am old enough to remember how Lindsay Lohan was a promising actress around the early 2000s. After “Mean Girls” (2004), it looked like she was ready to move onto the next step of her burgeoning acting career as shown from her fine supporting turn in Robert Altman’s poignant last film “Prairie Home Companion” (2006), but, alas, she unfortunately became a notorious troublemaker/laughingstock due a series of big and small problems in her life and career, and she actually appeared in only two movies since Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons” (2013).
Anyway, it seems she has been climbing up from her personal/professional bottom these days, and Netflix film “Falling for Christmas”, which was released early in this month, shows that she is still a good performer who can be funny and delightful. While she is not so supported well by the movie itself, she carries it to the end through her fairly commendable efforts, and the overall result is not as terrible as I feared at least.
In the movie, Lohan plays Sierra Belmont, a spoiled and superficial daughter of one wealthy businessman who owns and runs a big ski resort in Aspen, Colorado. She is recently employed as the “vice president of atmosphere” of the resort, but everyone including herself knows well that her father simply wants her to keep her around him during the Christmas season, and she is usually more occupied with interacting with her boyfriend, who is equally superficial as your typical social influencer.
Not long after he arrives in the ski resort, Sierra’s boyfriend pulls off a little surprise for her just because that will draw more attention to them from those countless online followers of his out there. He takes her to a remote spot outside the ski resort, and then he blatantly proposes to her with a big wedding ring which incidentally does not fit with her little finger that well.
Sierra says yes without much thought, but then something unfortunate happens. She and her boyfriend happen to be on a high spot covered with lots of snow, and they accidentally tumble down from that spot in opposite directions. In case of Sierra, she is not injured much on the whole, but she gets her head hit by a tree. After she is fortunately rescued and then sent to a local hospital, she wakes up to find herself totally incapable of remembering who the hell she is, and she has no choice but to stay in a small local ski resort run by Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet), a nice (and handsome) dude who kindly rescued her at that time.
Jake and Sierra, who is now called “Sarah”, actually came across each other before, though neither of them cannot remember well even though that happened not long before Sierra’s accident. Because his little ski resort business has not been going well, Jake attempted to approach to Sierra’s father for some financial help, and that was when he had a rather unpleasant encounter with Sierra, who just looks vaguely familiar to him as “Sarah” at present probably because she does not wear all those fancy clothes and accessories.
Anyway, Sierra agrees to help Jake’s ski resort business a bit as a temporary employee, and the movie certainly gives us a series of silly comic moments showing how woefully inexperienced she really is. It looks like there is not any other employee besides her and Jake’s hearty mother-in-law Alejandra (Alejandra Flores), and Alejandra gladly helps “Sarah” get accustomed to her new job although “Sarah” will stay for just several days.
While often being around Jake, Sierra gets to know more about Jake, and, what do you know, she comes to care about him and his ski resort business more than expected. His ski resort actually came from his dead wife’s family, and he has really tried a lot to prevent it from being shut down because he knows how much it means to not only himself but also his mother-in-law and his cute little daughter, but, alas, it looks like he may have to close it down once the current Christmas season is over.
It is not much of a spoiler to tell you that our heroine eventually finds a nice solution for Jake and his sky resort – and that she also falls in love with him while wholeheartedly supported by Alejandra and her granddaughter. After all, her granddaughter wishes her daddy to be really happy, and the movie even has a certain supporting figure who may be a sort of Christmas spirit or an undercover Santa Claus.
The movie is often distracting whenever it focuses on a comic subplot involved with how Sierra’s boyfriend struggles to survive out there in the meantime, but it surely feels warm and cheerful when it is focusing on Sierra’s expected growth along the story. Lohan is often amusing and charming in addition to fitting very well to her role mainly due to her current public image, and she demonstrates here that she deserves the second chance as much as, say, Robert Downey Jr. In case of several other main cast members, Chord Overstreet and George Young are sadly stuck in their respective thankless cardboard roles, and Alejandra Flores and young performer Olivia Perez acquit themselves well as bringing some decent holiday cheer as required.
Directed by Janeen Damian, “Falling for Christmas” is not particularly recommendable for being a bit too familiar and predictable, but it is mostly passable as another safe Christmas product from Netflix. Yes, there are much better movies for Christmas out there, but it will probably not disappoint you much if you simply want to spend your free time without much expectation.