Wahoooooooo! A Christmas movie that DIDN’T SUCK. If anything, this was one of my favourite movies of the year, and my girlfriend and I watched it twice in two days because we’re those gays.
Happiest Season is only the third feature film directed by the multi-talented Clea DuVall, who has been quoted saying that her motivation for the movie was so that she could see a Christmas rom-com that was ”closer to her own experience”. It turns out that everyone else wanted the same thing, because this sucker broke Hulu records and became the most streamed Hulu Original film during it’s opening weekend, and attracted more new subscribers than any other Hulu release. Nailed it, Clea. That’s what the LGBTQ+ community will do for you in return.
Anyway, the film is about Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis); a young couple who decide to visit Harper’s family for Christmas. There’s just one catch: Harper never told her uppity, picture perfect family that she was gay, and Abby agrees to keep to herself for five days so as not to arouse suspicion. As any gay person knows, that will never work, and everything goes tits up almost immediately, throwing Abby’s plan to propose to Harper over the holidays out the window.
Firstly, Happiest Season was so much funnier than I ever anticipated. Why is the best comedy the relatable kind? Will said humour translate so well to non-millennials/non-LGBTQ people/men? I have to say, I do not care. My girlfriend and I howled at this numerous times, and although there are some inside jokes that are definitely in there for the gays of a certain age, there are plenty of punchlines for the heterosexuals too.
The plot here is not anything new whatsoever, but what is original is a gay Christmas movie. The amount of ridiculously terrible straight people Christmas films is already way out of control (as you may have noticed judging by the awful Christmas movies I’ve reviewed here so far) so this was a nice change. The idea that DuVall simply wanted to make a more relatable Christmas movie for queer people shines through, and she undoubtedly achieves her vision with this one.
I got so carried away in the Yuletide being gay that I’ve not even mentioned the outstanding cast!
On top of the already brilliant Alison Brie, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber and Drag Race favourites Jinkx Monsoon and Ben DeLaCreme, I have so much love for awkward weirdo sister, Jane (Mary Holland). She was genuinely the best character, and, like Jane, she hasn’t been getting quite enough attention due to the presence of Aubrey Plaza. Which is understandable. Kristen Stewart does her best work in this movie and manages to be the least annoying she’s ever been. I’d go as far to say that I’m quite the fan of hers as a result of this movie. And Aubrey steals every scene she’s in, of course. EvilHag forever.
Whilst we’re on that note, I have to congratulate whoever dressed Stewart and Plaza in this movie, because it’s the stuff of lesbian wardrobe dreams. Honestly, I need every single jacket that appeared in this movie.
If this was released in 2005 there’d be so much fan fiction. So much fan fiction. And spoiler alert: we all know that it wouldn’t be Harper/Abby fanfic. I guess you’ll have to watch it if you want to figure that one out, although it’s likely that the GaysOfTwitter™ have already spoiled that for you with their thirsty ranting.
All in all, Clea DuVall did an excellent job with this. It will absolutely not be for everyone, but if you even slightly relate to a single character, you’ll love it.
Let the Yuletide be gay.
Happiest Season is available to rent on the Google Play Store for £3.49, on Amazon for £4.49, and a little birdie tells me it’s coming to free streaming this month on Sky Cinema and Now TV… Keep an eye out!
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