Netflix’s Falling For Christmas has been the most anticipated of all the Christmas films that have and will release this year. It’s Lindsay Lohan’s comeback, of course, it’d be. And while the film isn’t top-tier or anything of the sort, it’s a charming romance that’ll make every holiday enthusiast swoon.
Lindsay Lohan stars as Sierra Belmont, a wealthy hotel heiress who wakes up with dissociative amnesia after a skiing accident. Chord Overstreet’s Jake Russell offers a room at the local cabin/bed and breakfast he runs, and the best part of the story begins there. At the cabin, Jake’s daughter Avy (Olivia Monet Perez) and his mother-in-law, Alejandra (Alejandra Flores), try to jog her memories by having her assist with routine tasks. When that doesn’t seem to work, Sierra’s knack for crafts and business blesses them with a means to save the cabin from permanently closing.
The amnesia trope often relies on exquisite chemistry and cementing a relationship fortified through trust. The person who loses their memories needs to fully believe that the other person is safe and comforting to rely on. That’s undoubtedly the case in Netflix’s Falling For Christmas because Overstreet’s Jake is not only warm and genuinely kind, but his family is welcoming too. The fact that not one of them judges Sierra for not knowing ordinary household tasks is a lovely detail in and of itself because we never teach people by mocking them—we lead with patience.
Patience and understanding allow Sierra to feel safe enough around Jake and his family. It’s patience that drives her toward wanting to help them however best she can when she learns that they aren’t doing well financially. And where the cabin is concerned, a particular moment would make It’s A Wonderful Life’s George Bailey so proud. Who doesn’t love people coming together to help the one person who’s always been there for them?
Additionally, for the romance to work, every new puzzle piece has to be better than what Sierra is leaving behind. And it’s in the quiet moments where the film is at its best because not only is the chemistry between Jake and Sierra palpable, but there’s a tenderness to their scenes that brings vulnerable layers centerfold. When the two of them dance or talk or move in the same vicinity, there’s a magic in the air that’s especially dazzling during the holidays. It doesn’t help that the cabin is quite literally so cozy that I wanted to leap into the screen and stay there myself.
At its crux, however, Netflix’s Falling For Christmas is about finding a path where there’s agency and a safe place to land. It’s about knowing what you want, finding the courage to pursue it, and accepting the help from people extending their hands. It’s a story about grief and finding love after heartaches, as well as a story about falling for the first time. Both characters fall for Christmas again as the sparks they find together bring light to the darkness that loneliness often triggers.
Lindsay Lohan’s return to romantic comedies feels like the best kind of homecoming for 90s kids. Lohan was a tremendous part of our lives growing up, and having her in a Christmas film as adults feels like a warm hug of sorts. As with all films in this genre, it’s overtly cheesy at times, but Janeen Damian keeps the magic alive through some stunning sequences as the performances shine through, telling an altogether wholesome story.
Falling For Christmas is now streaming on Netflix.