‘Falling For Christmas’ Sees Lindsay Lohan Shine In Return To Acting


It’s that time of year when Netflix gifts us with another Original Christmas Movie, but it also marks the Lohanissance — Lindsay Lohan’s return to acting with a three-picture Netflix deal. Penned by Jeff Bonnett and Ron Oliver, Falling For Christmas follows the predictable beats of a Hallmark or Lifetime story we’ve seen many times before. Spoiled hotel heiress Sierra Belmont (Lohan) is feeling pressured by her father, Beauregard (Jack Wagner), to take the made-up role of “Vice President of Atmosphere” at his luxury ski resort, but Sierra doesn’t want to be in the family business, she wants to make her own mark in the world… somehow. 

When Sierra has a skiing accident while out on the slopes with her obnoxious influencer boyfriend, Tad Fairchild (George Young), she experiences amnesia. She soon finds herself in the care of handsome lodge owner and widower Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet), his precocious daughter Avy (Olivia Perez), and his endearing mother-in-law Alejandra (Alejandra Flores) in the lead-up to Christmas. Early in the film, Beauregard turns down Jake’s request for angel investment to help save his lodge. Meanwhile, Tad has his own adventure with Ralph (Sean Dillingham), a self-sufficient mountain man cut off from society.

Falling For Christmas has excellent production and costume design. The Christmas decor is warm and welcoming, and there’s some magical realism which is seasonably perfect. Emerson Alvarez’s costumes speak to Sierra’s wealth in her extravagant designer outfits in solid block colours of reds and pinks before switching to the supposedly ugly but cozy Christmas jumpers and flannel shirts from the lodge’s lost and found. 


The film, Janeen Damian’s directorial debut, is a joy to watch as it balances the traditional themes of love and family around Christmas Time. Damian has previously produced a handful of Christmas TV movies, and she and Lohan have recently wrapped up production on Netflix’s Irish Wish. Falling For Christmas balances light comedy while gently tugging on emotional heartstrings. Sierra partakes in normal daily activities to try and trigger her memory, but she soon realizes she’s never made a bed, cleaned a toilet, cooked a meal, or anything really. Sierra’s apparent uselessness is challenged by Jake, Avy, and Alejandra, who teach the heiress some practical skills and show her what Christmas is really about. The film juxtaposes North Star Lodge, Jake’s cozy bed and breakfast, with the luxury and unhomely Belmont Summit Resort as Jake preaches the importance of “home-style meals” and “hot chocolate by the fireplace.” 

There’s a Mean Girls Easter Egg in Falling For Christmas when Jingle Bell Rock plays through the radio, sung by Lohan’s real-life sister, Ali. Lohan recorded her own rendition of the song, which plays during the credits, and was released before the film’s release. Playing through the film’s credits is also a blooper reel, something you don’t see as often these days. In fact, Lohan is the reason it’s there. As executive producer for the first time, Lohan told Etalk she was excited to have a say in the editing and had to fight for the blooper reel. Overstreet chimes in, saying, “I forgot about all the fun we had. […] It was like looking through old photographs.” This is exactly the warmth that Falling For Christmas exudes alongside its beautiful, snowy scenery. 

Lohan’s return to acting being a Christmas romcom is an utter delight. When speaking to Tudum about why she wanted to revisit the romcom genre, Lohan said: “I think we need more uplifting movies to watch, and I really want to bring that back to people and into their homes.” Lohan has a special quality that has always made her fun to watch on-screen, and she absolutely shines in this role. With a penchant for comedic roles, Falling For Christmas allows Lohan to return to physical slapstick comedy where she does a lot of her own stunts — for example, falling backwards over a chair after seeing a raccoon outside her window. It helps that Lohan and Overstreet, who have previously worked together on Glee, have great chemistry; their warmth and charisma carry the film where the writing and CGI fall short. 

Falling For Christmas is out on Netflix now.

by Toni Stanger

Toni Stanger is a film and screenwriting graduate with a passion for cats, horror films and middle-aged actresses. Her favourite films include Gone Girl, Heathers, Scream and Excision. You can find her on Twitter and Letterboxd.

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