Happiest Season and all the images you see in this review are owned by Hulu
Directed by Clea DuVall
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and watched a new movie, hasn’t it? Okay, at THIS point it’s not exactly a new movie as it’s been out for over a week now, but it’s been harder to keep up with what’s coming out and which films are worth seeking which is a far cry from the very structured way I used to do them when they came out in theaters, but we ten months into this nightmare and we all need to find new ways to work with the new normal. In any case, I heard murmurings about this about a week before it came out which is usually a good sign to check it out, and the premise at least looked like it had SOMETHING worth talking about to separate it from all the other Christmas movies that come out each year. Now that I’ve finally seen it, does it live up to the modicum of hype it built for itself, or did Hulu trick me into watching something that otherwise should have been on the Hallmark channel sandwiched between A Shoe Addict’s Christmas and Fir Crazy? Let’s find out!!
Abbey Holland (Kristen Stewart) is in a wonderful relationship with her girlfriend Harper Caldwell (Mackenzie Davis) and after spending the better part of a year together she thinks she’s ready to ask her to marry her! Fate has other ideas in mind however as it’s Christmas time and on a whim Harper asks her to join her family for Christmas which SEEMS innocuous enough… but just as they’re about to pull into the drive way Harper tells Abbey that her family has NO IDEA she’s a lesbian and that they have to pretend to just be friends. Seems like a red flag big enough to see from space, but Harper assures her that she’ll tell her parents AFTER Christmas and so Abbey begrudgingly goes along with it. From there it’s what you’d expect as the family members each have their own eccentricities and barely concealed hatreds for one another which Abbey just sits back and enjoys, but keeping this secret proves to be harder than it looks; especially when Harper’s mom (Mary Steenburgen) tries to set her up with an old boyfriend (Jake McDorman), and her dad (Victor Garber) is a politician which means they are under a microscope whenever they leave the house. Fortunately there’s a ray of light in this town in the form of Riley (Aubrey Plaza) who was Harper’s first girlfriend and seems to know what Abbey is going through, and if all else fails Abbey’s got a Gay Best FriendTM back home named John (Dan Levy) who’s watching her pets and is always ready to dispense sassy advise when needed! Can Abbey survive being in this awkward situation, and will her relationship with Harper fall apart in the process? What is it about her family that has made Harper so paranoid about them finding out she’s a lesbian, and can any of justify what she’s having her girlfriend go through? Then again, if it’s THIS easy to fool her parents, maybe this is just a warm up to some big heist or something!Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Happiest Season”