Friday, December 16, 2022

Adam and Alison Watch Christmas Movies: FALLING FOR CHRISTMAS

 by Adam Thas & Alison Thas

It's Lindsay Lohan time!

Alison: There is a lot to love in Falling for Christmas. The story is set in a snowy ski village where there is a massively successful ski resort owned by Beauregard Belmont. His daughter, Sierra (Lindsay Lohan), is taking time from her over-the-top influencer lifestyle to visit him. It is quickly established that Sierra is incapable of doing much other than wearing designer clothing and following a strict vegan diet. While taking selfies on a mountaintop with her influencer boyfriend, Tad, fate takes a twist causing Sierra to fall/roll down the mountain. A tree breaks her fall and causes her to experience memory loss.

Luckily for Sierra, Jake (Chord Overstreet) happens to ride by on his sleigh (no joke here) and finds her in the snow. He takes her back to his ski lodge, which just so happens to be on the brink of financial ruin. It belongs to his deceased wife’s family and Jake is doing everything he can to keep the doors open. Sierra tries to help out and a wacky montage of Sierra attempting menial tasks ensues. Memory loss is blamed for her inability to make a bed or put in the correct amount of laundry detergent. As time goes on, Sierra becomes part of the lodge’s staff and befriends the locals. She organizes a Christmas Eve ball to help Jake’s mission in keeping the lodge open.
One of the biggest draws for me to this movie is the setting. The idyllic snowy village brings me so much Christmas cheer. While cheesy, I loved that Jake gives sleigh rides to couples and that there’s a town Christmas tree which everyone comes to decorate. While the plot is very predictable (think Overboard but set in the snow), the writers give it some cute updates that made us all chuckle. Having had to watch it twice – once with Adam and then again with my kids – I think I found it more charming the second time around. If you want a movie that allows you to escape into a place where hot cocoa always seems to be at the ready, Falling for Christmas is for you.

Adam: Honestly, it was bittersweet seeing Lindsay Lohan back on my screen again. Sweet because I have been a fan of hers since, of course, Mean Girls, but also from a small role opposite Elijah Wood in the underrated Bobby where she is great. Bitter because it reminds me of the type of career she could have had if her personal issues and professionalism had not gotten in the way. She delivers in Falling for Christmas, switching from goofy, to charming, to serious, and back again seamlessly. I sincerely hope Lohan has been able to put her past struggles behind her because she was good in Falling for Christmas and I hope we see more of her.

What I have more of a feeling for in these holiday movies now three years into reviewing them is how irregularly they find the correct pacing. With some of these movies, like One Royal Wedding, they don’t seem to have enough plot to fill an entire movie and instead fill it with nonsense. Others, like The Noel Diary, have too much to fill a short run time, and even in some cases like Christmas Under Wraps they didn’t have enough money to fulfill the vision. Some of the more polished movies like The Princess Switch or Falling for Christmas seem to have the perfect balance of everything so that nothing seems short changed or overstuffed.

It is fascinating to me the repetitive themes that continue to pop up in these movies besides the normal ones that are synonymous with the genre. This is now the second movie we have reviewed this year where the main love interest is named Jake. This name has popped up multiple times through the 16 movies we have reviewed (and we’ve seen a lot more than that) and I honestly am starting to question if all the “Jakes” are a coincidence or if some market study somewhere has “Jake” as a very nonthreatening name. Second is the repeated appearance of what Alison and myself have dubbed the “Magic Man.” In several of these movies (Falling for Christmas included) there is an old person, usually a man, who impacts the plot in some way. In some cases, they are passive; in some cases (like in The Princess Switch movie) there is the same old man who shows up in each movie whenever the main character is in trouble, or like in Falling for Christmas where the “Magic Man” causes Lindsay Lohan to fall off a cliff.
So far, this has been a rough year for holiday movies compared to the others, so I would put Falling for Christmas at the top of this year’s list at this point. It has the typical over-the-top characters and tropes you see in these movies, but Lohan is good and it has enough of the scenery and supporting cast that you can ignore that it is essentially Overboard with snow. If you are looking for one to watch tonight, this would be my only recommendation because both Alison and my kids seem to enjoy and it has enough of charm to make it a pleasant experience.

Adam’s List:
1) Holidate (2020, Netflix)
2) Love Hard (2021, Netflix)
3) Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix)
4) Snowed Inn (2017, Hallmark)
5) The Princess Switch (2018, Netflix)
6) Falling for Christmas (2022, Netflix)
7) The Knight Before Christmas (2019, Netflix)
8) Midnight at the Magnolia (2020, Netflix)
9) Christmas Under Wraps (2014, Hallmark)
10) The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020, Netflix)
11) The Noel Diary (2022, Netflix)
12) The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021, Netflix)
13) One Royal Holiday (2020, Hallmark)
14) Christmas on the Farm (2022, Hulu)
15) Holiday in the Wild (2019, Netflix)
16) Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018, Hallmark)

Alison’s List:
1) The Princess Switch (2018, Netflix)
2) Love Hard (2021, Netflix)
3) Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix)
4) Falling for Christmas (2022, Netflix)
5) Holidate (2020, Netflix)
6) The Knight Before Christmas (2019, Netflix)
7) Midnight at the Magnolia (2020, Netflix)
8) Christmas Under Wraps (2014, Hallmark)
9) Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018, Hallmark)
10) The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020, Netflix)
11) Snowed Inn (2017, Hallmark)
12) The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021, Netflix)
13) One Royal Holiday (2020, Hallmark)
14) The Noel Diary (2022, Netflix)
15) Christmas on the Farm (2022, Hulu)
16) Holiday in the Wild (2019, Netflix)

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