For a moment, imagine a lush, snowy mountain.
As you watch it, dreamy music plays (who knows where – but that’s okay) and you feel like you’ve descended into a magical land where actress Lindsay Lohan is back in action as the “Parent Trap”. “God meant it, the troubled years seem never to have happened, and the world is exactly as it should be.
This is not heaven, my friends. It’s “Falling for Christmas” on Netflix.
What we need to know about Sierra Belmont’s (Lohan) life is summed up perfectly in the opening scene of “Falling Christmas,” when her “glam squad” arrives in her hotel room to do something obscure to her already perfect curls and watermelon-colored lips.
It doesn’t matter that she’s #woke, Sierra’s life is all about pointless excess—things in life you don’t want but nothing you actually do, like interacting with people who wear flannel prints.
Her father (Jack Wagner) owns a fancy eponymous hotel, and he’s brought Sierra into the property to integrate her into the family business as vice president of atmosphere—a job title she accepts that’s as real as Snow in the movie.
Bacon-hating Sierra soon finds herself on a cliffhanger with her powerful boyfriend Tad (George Young), who proposes with a ring four times the size of the average person’s “I’m sorry” diamond. But before they can get back to their snowmobile, the weather takes a quick turn for the storm and Sierra and Tad are thrown down opposite sides of the snowy peak where their dreams were supposed to come true.
Tad arrives and makes it his mission to return to the city, eventually finding a scrawny guide along the way.
Sierra wakes up in a hospital and is rescued by a struggling bed-and-breakfast owner, played by “Glee” alum Chord Overstreet, who in this role proves to be too old for the single dad to grow a beard.
The hospital — to say nothing of its suburban health care — releases Sierra, now a nameless amnesiac, to hot local dad Jake, who takes her in and teaches her the ways of the lower middle class. It’s like “Up” except there’s only one motherless kid and a Christmas town.
You don’t need a crystal ball for the rest, and the delicious cheese and bacon redemption that follows shouldn’t ruin it for anyone.
Suffice it to say, the spirit of the holiday works on spoiled heiresses, grieving families, and mountain townspeople alike, so no one seems to recognize the face of their region’s richest man. But who cares?
“Falling Christmas” is bigger than its crater-like plots. It’s a happy reminder that you don’t have to lose your memory to remember how precious fresh starts are.
Lohan’s return to the spotlight has been celebrated in support of the film’s release. She endured much criticism in the years leading up to her celebrity retreat, and as many women who have been wronged in the media have done, she is taking back the narrative in public and on screen.
Here, Lohan wears Sierra’s perk with the sass she wore in a miniskirt in “Mean Girls.” She laughs with that familiar mischief that made you want Annie and Hallie to be best friends in “The Parent Trap.” And, damn, if she still can’t cook teary eyes with surprising effectiveness. It’s the formula that’s worked for Lohan from the start, and it works so effectively for Hallmark-type holiday movies that it’s become a celebrated genre.
Some actors shoot for Oscars and that’s great. Lohan’s magical powers always bring to life films that have the simple goal of being joy rather than challenge. For that and that alone, “fall into Christmas” is a gift.