From Happiest Season (2020), dir. Clea DuVall (image courtesy Hulu)

With the Christmas season nearly upon us, this year’s crop of Christmas movies is naturally popping up. One of the less standard entries is Happiest Season; while the holiday romcom is usually one of the most stringently heteronormative genres in existence, this one centers on two women. Abby (Kristen Stewart) is planning to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) while staying with Harper’s family over Christmas. There’s just one hitch: Harper isn’t out to her family, and claims Abby is just her roommate.

The script is somewhat torn between indulging in various antics from Abby and Harper as they scramble to keep their secret from the family and exploring the emotional repercussions of the deception in a realistic way. But that’s an unavoidable side effect of what the film is trying to do, which is tell a story about queer characters in a traditionally straight setting without papering over their queerness (highlighting the varying pressures people from different backgrounds face around coming out). Overall, Happiest Season is an extremely pleasant movie, and an excellent pick for a lazy afternoon holiday watch.

Happiest Season is now available to stream on Hulu.

YouTube video

Dan Schindel is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Brooklyn, and a former associate editor at Hyperallergic. His portfolio and links are here.