Director: Clea DuVall
Writer: Clea DuVall, Mary Holland (Screenplay)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Mary Holland, Dan Levy
Plot: A holiday romantic comedy that captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.
Tagline – This holiday, come out and meet the family.
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Happiest Season starts when couple Abby (Stewart) and Harper (Davis) decided to spend Christmas with Harper’s family. Harper hasn’t come out to her family, which ruins Abby’s plan to propose to her, leaving Abby needing to pretend to be a roommate, while Harper must find the courage to tell her family.
Abby must get used to be around a family she doesn’t know, or even know is she will be accepted around. Abby is left feeling left out of the family celebrations, learning about the exes of Harper in town.
Thoughts on Happiest Season
Characters & Performances – Abby spends most Christmases alone with her family passing away, she has been dating Harper with plans to propose around Harper’s family this year. She is left feeling out of place after learning Harper hadn’t told her family. She does get to learn more about Harper’s life, while dealing with being pushed outside of a tradition during a time of the year she doesn’t enjoy as much as others. Kristen Stewart is excellent in this role, where she does take the leading role, dealing with the feeling of rejection, but understanding why. Harper is Abby’s girlfriend, she has come from a politically successful family, where she has had it pushed into her head that image in everything. She hasn’t come out to her family yet, planning to do so over Christmas. She has always believed her family would reject her for coming out, being the main reason, she hasn’t done so yet. Mackenzie Davis is great in this role, she brings all the hesitation to the truth, both showing the fear and desperation to keep her character together. We have Tipper and Ted, who are Harper’s parents, they have always ran the lives to make Ted’s career path flow, with their girls needing to follow the image needed for the political life. Sloane and Jane are the two sisters, Sloane has always competed with Harper to be the most important, while Jane is often forgotten for her hard work. John is Abby’s gay best friend who is the only person she can truly talk to through the weekend away, he offers her the biggest bit of advice, even if he is uses the creepy tracker app on his phone. Every actor here shines, with Dan Levy and Mary Holland both stepping up to prove themselves as names we should be looking out for on the big screen.
Story – The story here follows a gay couple that are going to be spending the Christmas holidays with one of their families, only the family doesn’t know they are gay, leaving the partner left out of the celebrations, getting tired of waiting for the truth to come out. This is a story that might well have a Christmas backdrop, but it is centred around getting family to accept you for who you are. We get the front and centre side of trying to figure out how to come out to one’s family, along with a failing marriage on the side, it is about doing what is right for the people you love, making sure everyone can enjoy their future together, as long as they are happy. Sending a big message about being together to celebrate holidays.
Themes – Happiest Season is a romantic comedy that will give us the important message about being together, we get to see how the romance might need to be a secret over fear of people’s opinions, but that love doesn’t wait forever. The comedy is done without it being a silly loud or offensive way, just being life comedy, which is always nice to see. With the location being Harper’s hometown, a place where Abby will feel out of place if she isn’t welcomed to the family.