Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license
I am an adamant holiday movie hater, but Happiest Season may just change my mind. Plot wise, it’s a typical meet-the-parents, Christmas rom-com telling the story of Harper (Mackenzie Davis) taking her girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart), who is planning to propose, back to her hometown to meet her family and spend Christmas with them. Unfortunately, Harper fails to mention that she is not out to her family, and now they have to pretend that Abby is Harper’s straight roommate who had nowhere else to go because she doesn’t have any family.
Despite Harper being in the closet playing an important role in the story’s central conflict, it’s only part of the story. Frankly, the real story lies within Harper’s family’s tendency for superficial perfection and its negative side effects on the kids, something that may resonate with many of the movie’s viewers. It’s also with Abby and how she has grown indifferent to the holidays since she lost her parents, the sheer awkwardness of meeting your significant other’s family, or going through a rough patch in a relationship.
I could also be reading too much into this because ever since watching it, I’ve become a little bit obsessed. Dan Levy (John, Abby’s friend) is an absolute gem whose character is as insightful as he is delightfully comedic. Aubrey Plaza (Riley, Harper’s ex-girlfriend) is effortlessly charismatic and has such great chemistry with Kristen Stewart that I almost hoped that she would end up with Abby.
In true romantic-comedy fashion, Harper chases after Abby when they almost break up and the movie ends with the two of them engaged. While the Catholic Church would not acknowledge such a union, the Church would want their families to fully accept them and love them.
Would I recommend this movie? Absolutely! It’s a modern take on a very cliché-ridden genre that makes you laugh, cringe, and leaves behind the heartwarming effect that we all expect from Christmas movies.