Anna Peterson ‘25
As we approach the holiday season, I have come to anticipate many of my favorite festive activities: drinking hot chocolate, baking cookies, and curling up with a good Hallmark movie. But oh no! It is 2022, and the years of cable television are dead. How will I watch my favorite “girlboss to wife” Christmas movies now? Do not fear — Netflix has saved us this December with its new film Falling For Christmas.
Our story begins with the heiress and super-snob, Sierra Belmont (Lindsay Lohan). Daughter to Beauregard Belmont (Jack Wagner) of Belmont Hotels, she enjoys a luxurious life of champagne, caviar breakfasts, and a professional glam squad. While staying in one of her father’s hotels for Christmas, she ventures on an off-road ski trip with her self-obsessed influencer boyfriend, Tad (George Young). One marriage proposal and a slight tumble down an unmarked ski slope later, our protagonist finds herself in the hospital with severe memory loss. And who does she meet when she wakes up? The dreamy, newly widowed ski lodge owner, Jake (Chord Overstreet, aka that one guy from Glee).
This movie was a clear rip off of the Christmas movie formula created and sustained by the Hallmark and Lifetime Channel. However, the plot is not my main criticism of this movie — it’s sappy but still maintains some funny bits and sweet moments. Instead, I find myself more concerned with the driving concepts and stereotypes of this film. It felt as though the director, Janeen Damian, used ancient social media buzzwords and a lazy satirization of the wealthy to carry the comedy aspect of this movie. Between ironic jokes about Tad’s influencer lifestyle and Sierra not knowing how to make her bed, it just fell flat for me. This perspective has been done a million times before and much better — Netflix, it’s time for a new trope.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of my critique. The acting was superficial and ingenuine. The main characters fall in love with each other, yet, they barely hold eye contact throughout the movie. Sierra interacts more with Jack’s daughter (Olivia Monet Perez) than him. Aside from one dancing scene, the audience never even sees them being explicitly romantic with one another. Their chemistry reads so phonily that it almost makes you cringe by the end. When watching the characters interact, it feels disjointed — the connection between Jack, his family, and his love interest appear awkward and superficial to the viewer.
While this movie does many things wrong from the lens of a pretentious film critic, it is not bad when considered within its genre. Sierra learns to work hard, find love, and do good for others. She breaks the bounds of her “rich girl” status, and the ever-present “spirit of Christmas” guides her through tough decisions. This movie accomplished everything intended for it; it leaves the audience with a cozy and nostalgic sense of holiday cheer. If you want to achieve this feeling, I recommend putting this movie on in the background of a Christmas party or using it as white noise to study for finals.
P.S. I love Linsday Lohan.
Image Source: Netflix