Happiest Season


Happiest Season film poster. (Photo courtesy of Twitter).

The holidays are upon us, and though quarantining may have snatched our opportunity to do activities like ice skate or have warm family reunions, we still have one thing we can do: blanket-hounding in front of your TV to watch a movie.

And here’s a movie to watch for the holidays: Happiest Season. Happiest Season is an LGBTQ+ romantic-comedy film that was just released exclusively on Hulu on November 25. Starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as same-sex couples, Abby Holland (Stewart) and Harper Caldwell (Davis) are just beginning to enjoy their Christmas Holidays. When Harper spontaneously invites Abby to her parents’ house for Christmas, they are faced with the challenge of hiding their couple status when Harper reveals she is still struggling to come out to her parents.

For those who are queer, this may be a storyline that they can relate to: dating someone who isn’t as comfortable with displaying their sexuality and leaving their partner to feel unpleasant feelings of doubt and insecurity. This is shown in the movie right as Abby steps into the Caldwell’s gleaming, bright house, and Harper introduces Abby to her parents as her straight, orphan roommate. Though this is a cover story that Abby agrees to for the sake of spending Christmas with Harper and her parents, it very much paints the fact that Abby and Harper’s relationship does not seem to fit into Caldwell’s picture-perfect image at all.

The comedy helps to offset this underlying uncomfortable situation. The humor can be hilarious in its supporting cast, like Abby’s best friend (also gay), John (Dan Levy). John is amazing. He is a witty, sassy, and very supportive and caring friend to Abby and her situation. Designated as the temporary pet-sitter for the animals, Abby usually cares for while she’s away at her stay with the Caldwells. His journey in taking care of her goldfish is hilarious. The little bits we see of him as he comforts Abby on the phone from when he realizes he didn’t feed the goldfish to when he’s at an aquarium to buy new goldfish to replace Abby’s old ones secretly is a hilarious mini journey detour that, though morbidly-tinged, can be a welcome refresher from the tense air that’s continuously brewing between Abby and Harper on the main screen. 

However, even while John’s offscreen and the Caldwells are back in the spotlight, our daily dose of humor is maintained with Jane, Harper’s older sister, and the family’s middle child. Jane is the epitome of middle child syndrome, which is when the middle child of the family always feels left out. Jane is just that. She is always seeking attention and approval from everyone, especially her parents. While their parents dub Harper as a “powerhouse” for her job as a journalist, Jane is simply the daughter known for being the “reason that the internet ever works [in the Caldwell House].” Still, Jane is a cheerful, quirky person whose awkward, earnest, and sometimes accidental humor endears everyone who sees her on the screen.

Additionally, the film’s music delivers the great classic holiday spin, and fun one expects in such a Christmas film. The soundtrack range includes holiday classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” to more pop-like songs like “Candy Cane Lane” by Sia. Whether you’re in the mood to jumpstart your holiday with a traditional carol or bop the night away to more catchy, bold beats like Tegan and Sara’s “Make You Mine This Season,” this movie has the notes to delight everyone’s’ ears.

I’m giving this film a 7. While the humor and the Christmas-y spirit of the movie is excellent, how the relationship between Harper and Abby develops may leave some people torn on whether the ending was satisfying enough or not. At the end of the day, though, I think it’s still a good, humorous Christmas story to enjoy for the winter break.