Falling for Christmas, by Albert W. Vogt III

We all remember Lindsay Lohan’s debut in the 1998 remake of the Disney classic The Parent Trap.  And somewhat recently I was fortunate to finally catch up with seemingly the rest of humanity by watching Mean Girls (2004).  What did Lohan do since then?  The movie that, unfortunately, sticks out for me is Machete (2010).  I do not think I made it through the whole thing before either getting up and leaving the theater, or shutting off wherever it was that I streamed it.  It should tell you how little thought I gave to it then, and now, that I cannot recall these details.  I am pretty good about remembering such things.  This last movie is symbolic of the dark turn that Lohan’s career took for a time.  Detailing such things can be illustrative of the fact that our stories are not written until God calls us to Him.  In the meantime, it is good to see that she has returned to at least somewhat more wholesome fare with Falling for Christmas.

In Falling for Christmas, Lohan plays Sierra Belmont.  She is the daughter of Beauregard Belmont (Jack Wagner), the entrepreneur behind a fictitious chain of high-end hotels named after him.  While being attended to by a legion of maids and other servants, one of which even pours liquids into her mouth for her, she claims that she is not spoiled.  Actually, this is slightly true.  The person who is truly entitled is Tad Fairchild (George Young).  He is Sierra’s boyfriend and a social media influencer.  Beauregard is not thrilled by his daughter’s choice in men, and increasingly neither is Sierra. Regardless, she agrees to go with him to do a photo shoot at the top of a mountain so that he can maintain his legion of followers.  Their trek to the spot is ridiculously fraught with peril, but Tad makes up for it by asking Sierra to marry him.  Not long after this, Sierra loses her balance and goes barreling down one side of the hill, while Tad falls down the other.  Sierra’s plummet ends not with her death (this is a romantic comedy, after all), but with her being rescued by Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet).  We briefly met him before when he manages to track down Beauregard on the ski slopes and pitches him an idea for his business, but is turned down.  He later bumps into Sierra, but she apparently does not make an impression at that time because he does not recognize her.  In fact, she does not recognize anyone because when she comes to in the town clinic, she has amnesia and recalls nothing about herself, including her name.  The doctor’s there convince Jake to take in Sierra while she recovers.  He takes her to his struggling ski lodge called the North Star.  While she convalesces, she is told that getting into a routine might help her memory return.  As such, we are treated to a series of scenes featuring a chain hotel heiress struggling with daily activities like doing laundry and making beds.  She is not the only one struggling.  Tad’s tumble leaves him alone in the woods and, worst of all, without cell reception.  He desperately wanders into an ice fishing lodge where its burly inhabitant agrees to help him return to civilization.  Though Sierra never leaves more populated areas, her condition prevents her from going home.  This becomes less of a burdensome proposition as the days continue.  One of the factors easing her stay is Jake’s daughter, Avy (Olivia Perez).  She and Sierra form a bond, with Avy giving Sierra the name Sarah after one of her stuffed animals.  Another factor is the growing attraction between Jake and Sierra.  He fights it at first because he is worried that she might have a boyfriend already, and it would be bad to take advantage of this situation.  He is gradually won over as Sierra starts to become more familiar with the North Star’s day-to-day functions.  The problem, though, is that the lodge is not producing enough revenue and they might have to close.  To help with business, Sierra comes up with an idea to have a fundraiser, inviting many of those who have stayed there to share their stories about what the North Star has meant to them.  Jake once more avers, not wanting to seem like a person that is willing to accept charity from the entire town.  Sierra takes the refusal a little personally, and says that she is going to leave.  It takes Avy’s grandmother, Alejandra (Alejandra Flores), to convince him of the wisdom of the party, as well as the need to swallow his pride.  While this transpires, Beauregard returns to find Sierra and Tad have not returned in some days.  Their visit to the local sheriff’s office leads them to the North Star as the planned party is underway.  Seeing her dad and Tad jogs Sierra’s memory, and she goes with them, leaving sad faces behind her.  Predictably, her time at the North Star has had a positive effect on her.  When she wakes up the next morning, she makes her bed for the staff, and then proceeds to the kitchen where she prepares her own breakfast, all to the staff’s astonishment.  It leads to her confronting both her dad, telling him that she wants to make it on her own, and Tad, breaking off the engagement with him.  This comes in time for Jake to get to her hotel and finally admit his feelings for her.  The icing on the cake comes with Alejandra telling him they have received reservations at the North Star for the rest of the year, and Sierra telling him that her dad will be investing in their lodge.

I know I said that I like it that Lohan is back in a more positive film with Falling for Christmas, but this one is still pretty formulaic.  With everything going on this time of year, it is hard to get enough sleep.  Thus, when my brain detects repeat performances, it begins to say, hey buddy, maybe it is time to sleep.  Boredom is a hard thing to fight, no matter how mildly gratifying it is to see Lohan back in something I can watch all the way through without having to go to Confession afterwards.  Because there is not a lot to latch onto here, I will say that it is interesting to note that the carol sung while the Christmas tree in the town center is lit is “Joy to the World.”  I was surprised by the choice because I would not have expected anything of the sort in a Hollywood film, if you can call Netflix that since it is a part of that machine.  The song speaks well to the true meaning of Christmas, and that being the arrival of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Not to sound like a broken record, but that event is why any of this exists.

That is about all I have to say about Falling for Christmas.  There are those that around this time of year park themselves in front of the television and have a marathon of Christmas movies.  This one is as safe as many of the others I have seen.  Otherwise, you can write it off as basically being no different than the rest.


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