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A jolly good time with heartfelt performances and more than enough holiday cheer, all you'll want for Christmas is Happiest Season. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

This romantic comedy is about longtime lesbian couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who made plans to go home to the latter's family for the Christmas holidays. Aside from spending the yuletide season with Harper's conservative parents, Abby is also planning to spring a marriage proposal on Harper. Trouble begins, though, when she discovers that Harper hasn't come out as a lesbian yet to her family, leaving them clueless as to who Abby really is in her life. Co-written and directed by Clea Duvall. Co-starring Dan Levy, Victor Garber, and Mary Steenburgen.

Cast & Crew

Mary Holland
Jane
Clea DuVall
Screenwriter
Mary Holland
Screenwriter
Jonathan McCoy
Executive Producer
Wyck Godfrey
Executive Producer
John Guleserian
Cinematographer
Amie Doherty
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Happiest Season

Critic Reviews for Happiest Season

All Critics (199) | Top Critics (54) | Fresh (164) | Rotten (35)

  • Proving a conservative format can change is well and good, but there's also something to be said for just leaving it behind.

    February 21, 2021 | Full Review…
  • It's the movie equivalent of one of those specialty caffeinated holiday drinks like a Toasted White Chocolate Mocha or a Chestnut Praline Latte - a guilty pleasure filled with sweetness and warmth, but also an abundance of empty calories.

    February 21, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Is the movie full of every cliché in the book? Yes. But because it takes place during my beloved Christmas season, and because it's got Davis at its center, I went with it.

    February 21, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • With Happiest Season, the LGBTQ+ community may have reached cinematic quality in one key aspect. Now it too has its own average-to-bad romcom of the sort that the straight community has been churning out for decades.

    February 21, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Watching "Happiest Season" is like opening the wrong present on Christmas morning: You're a little bummed out and it's too late to put it back in the box.

    February 21, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • All too frequently the actresses seem smarter than the material, forced to navigate preposterous twists and increasingly silly plot complications.

    February 21, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Happiest Season

  • Dec 01, 2020
    It's about time that gay people were better represented in holiday rom-coms (according to my girlfriend, 2020 was the first year Hallmark featured a gay protagonist in a Christmas movie, which is astounding). Why shouldn't queer people be able to enjoy cute, low-key holiday fluff that also better represents their stories and perspectives? That's the goal of Happiest Season, written and directed by Clea DuVall, an actress best known for her 90s output like The Faculty and But I'm a Cheerleader who has transitioned behind the camera. The story follows a lesbian couple, Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), celebrating their first Christmas together. Harper invites her girlfriend to meet her family, however, she hasn't come out to her conservative parents and sisters. Abby will have to pretend to only be the "roommate" and from there the movie sets us up farcical misunderstandings and comic mishap. The problem with Happiest Season is that everyone is a big jerk. Harper's parents are jerks. Her overly competitive sister played by Alison Brie is a jerk. Even her young niece and nephew are jerks. Why would it be such a big deal for a conservative politician's daughter to be gay... in 2020? Hell, Dick Cheney has a gay daughter and he's done okay for himself. Why would Harper want her girlfriend to spend upwards of five days with these awful people and under the guise of having to hide who she is and their relationship? I think it's because Harper is also a jerk. She dismisses Abby's feelings and misgivings, ditches her to hang out with an old boyfriend, and doesn't seem to recognize how uncomfortable any of this is making the woman she reportedly loves. And then it's revealed that Harper outed her high school girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) and said she was obsessed with her in an effort to not be seen as gay when she was younger. That's not endearing. This person doesn't deserve Abby, and that's the problem because when the happy ending and sweet kisses fortuitously come I wasn't feeling joy but contempt. I kept yelling at turn after turn for Abby to leave this family to their own miserable devices. I wanted the movie to somehow transform into a separate story about the only people I genuinely liked, Dan Levy as Abby's friend and Mary Holland as the youngest daughter, a sweet goofball, the only one in Harper's family with a soul. The comedy bits run the gamut between cute and clumsy, though the escalations don't rise to the farcical levels you would expect from compounded misunderstandings and secret-keeping. Happiest Season is an adequate holiday movie, and a boon for greater representation even in a genre with a low bar, but it would have been even better with characters you actually liked and wanted to spend the yuletide season with. Nate's Grade: B-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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