Monday, December 28, 2020

Movie Monday: Happiest Season

In the holiday spirit last weekend, my husband and I watched Happiest Season, a different kind of holiday rom-com with an all-star cast that we enjoyed.

Abby, played by Kristen Stewart, hasn't enjoyed Christmas since she lost her parents years ago, but her girlfriend, Harper (played by Mackenzie Davis who we've been enjoying as Cameron on Halt and Catch Fire), loves the holiday. In an inspired moment of holiday spirit, she invites Abby to come home with her for Christmas to meet her family and enjoy a festive holiday. There's just one problem: she neglects to tell Abby that her parents don't know she's gay. Normally a happy couple living together, Abby and Harper must now pretend they are just roommates, though Harper promises to come out to her parents after the holiday. It turns out that Harper's parents are ultra-conservative, "family values" types who are hyper-concerned with appearances now that Harper's dad, Ted (played by Victor Garber), is running for local office, with his ambitions set even higher. Harper's mom, Tipper (played beautifully by Mary Steenburgen), is busy rushing around trying to make sure everything is perfect, with every perfect moment captured on her husband's Instagram account, including their big annual Christmas Eve party. What could go wrong? Add to the mix two sisters, played by Alison Brie and Mary Holland, competing for dad's attention; Harper's old (secret) high school girlfriend, played by Delaware native--our hometown heroine--Aubrey Plaza; and Abby's friend, John (played by Dan Levy as a gay man pretending to be Abby's boyfriend), and chaos and hilarity ensue.

We enjoyed this different spin on a holiday rom-com. It's heartwarming and engaging, with plenty of laughs along the way. The cast is outstanding, and it's nice to see multiple gay characters living their lives on-screen instead of just one gay friend on the sidelines. As you might expect from the set-up, plenty of hijinks occur, as all the secrets and lies are eventually exposed, but the movie has just the right mix of warmth and humor. It's a fun and unique addition to the slew of holiday movies available each year and made for an enjoyable evening.

Happiest Season is a Hulu original, so it is available exclusively on Hulu.


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