When I saw the cast of “Happiest Season,” I knew I would have to watch the movie. From Kristen Stewart to Mary Steenburgen, this film is filled to the brim with Hollywood’s best talent.
Additionally, I was excited to see a Christmas movie that featured a non-straight couple — something which is very rarely seen in the genre of holiday films.
The movie follows a lesbian couple, Abby Holland (portrayed by Kristen Stewart) and Harper Caldwell (portrayed by Mackenzie Davis), as they navigate the holidays at Caldwell’s family’s home.
The conflict? Caldwell, unbeknownst to Holland until just before they arrive at the house, has not come out to her family yet. Caldwell fears that her coming-out would not only not be taken well by her family, but would also jeopardize her father’s budding political career.
Unfortunately, this hesitance to come out shoves both women back into the closet, as they attempt to maintain their image as “just roommates.”
The concealment of Caldwell and Holland’s romantic involvement leads them to experience great conflict, both within their relationship and outside of it, making the film’s storyline particularly upsetting and even maddening at times.
Throughout the film, the audience can see the interesting and often frustrating dynamic of the Caldwell family.
The audience is given a look at the snobby, narrow-minded environment Caldwell had to grow up in, making it easier and easier as the film progresses to understand Caldwell’s apprehension to come out and show her family her true self.
The storyline also sheds light on the struggles LGBTQ+ individuals face by showing that, even in 2020, it’s often difficult for non-straight people to simply live their lives the way that they would like to, without discrimination or push-back from their family or community.
Every actor in the film did a great job representing their characters and conveying the storyline — I felt as though I was along for the ride with them, going through the highs and the lows of a Christmas at the Caldwell household.
I was especially impressed by Mary Steenburgen’s portrayal of Harper Caldwell’s mother, Tipper. Steenburgen did a wonderful job making her character extremely unlikeable, while also being one of the funniest characters in the film, which is quite the feat.
I was also impressed by the work of Kristen Stewart and Aubrey Plaza (Plaza played Caldwell’s ex-girlfriend and ex-best friend, Riley).
Their characters’ friendship and chemistry throughout the course of the film were one of my favorite aspects of “Happiest Season” — they both did a great job making their interactions and dialogue feel very genuine.
Another one of my favorite parts of the film was that the plot was very easy to follow, while still providing the audience with an entertaining and endearing story full of love and challenges — it’s an easy movie to enjoy.
Although I wouldn’t call “Happiest Season” a masterpiece, it was still very refreshing to see a cheesy, funny, and romantic holiday movie which goes against the very stereotypically straight norm often conveyed in Christmas movies.
Even in the more dramatic and distressing parts of the movie, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that I found a new Christmas classic to celebrate the holiday season — one that both entertains its audience and sheds light on the struggles that the LGBTQ+ community faces.
If you and your family would like a new Christmas movie to celebrate the holiday season, I would highly recommend checking out “Happiest Season” on Hulu.