Happiest Season (film) directed by Clea DuVall is a Christmas rom-com starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis in the lead roles.
Harper wishes to take her girlfriend Abby to her home as Christmas is approaching, but Harper is not out in front of her “perfect” family. As they arrive at Harper’s home, Abby is introduced to them as her “orphan roommate” and is quite literally shoved back into the closet.
Harper’s father, Ted is running for Mayor elections and wished people to see them as the perfect, happy family, which is far from reality. He has three daughters, each dealing with their own problems in life but too afraid to share with their parents. Having “earned” their parents’ love growing up, they don’t want to do anything to lose it all.
Apart from Harper, the other two sisters are Sloane and Jane. The three of them don’t quite go along very well, and try to compete with each other to be the best. Jane is an aspiring fantasy novel writer and seems to be the only decent person in the family, while Sloane is passive-aggressive who once was the favourite daughter of the family. She is married to Eric and has twins who make things worse for Abby. The competition between Sloane and Harper becomes increasingly aggressive as the movie progresses, while Jane tries to fit in.
Harper’s mother, Tipper tries to popularize her husband on Instagram as she is seen taking photos of every moment to make her “happy” family “viral”. At home, Harper tries to act being heterosexual mingling with his ex-boyfriend Connor to avoid any suspicions. This makes Abby isolated and unable to recognize the person she loves. We can almost feel the thud in Abby’s heart when Harper says she feels suffocated and needed space.
The most amazing thing about Happiest Season (film) is its complex characters and the relationship they share with one another, none of them being shown perfectly. From Abby and Harper’s relationship to the bond between each of the family members, each of them lacks a certain balance which they eventually try to establish.
Kristen Stewart has done a commendable job and seems to enjoy her role. She is able to showcase Abby’s emotions vividly, of being left alone by Harper and having to act straight in front of her family. This made Abby the real hero of the story. The chemistry between Harper and Abby is beautiful and it gives a heartache when problems start to creep in between them.
Mary Holland, as Jane, the youngest daughter, is funny and has great comic timing. She is also the co-writer of the movie and can definitely make you love her character. Dan Levy plays John, the gay friend-advisor to Abby, who often gives her some good advice and tracks people. Aubrey Plaza, as Riley plays a significant role in the movie, giving support to Abby in the strange and upsetting situation she ends up being in.
Happiest Season (film) is charming, fun, warm with lots of beautiful scenes and amazing characters!
Happiest Season (film) is streaming on Hulu.
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