Who doesn't love a Christmas-themed rom-com when the weather turns cold? And who feels that sometimes the genre gets a little repetitive? If you subscribe to both tribes, the lesbian twist on the romantic comedy, Happiest Season, could be the shot of merry you need this December.
Directed and co-written by Veep and The Handsmaid’s Tale star Clea Duvall, Happiest Season has a super-cool cast (Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy and Aubrey Plaza) and a set-up that promises to deliver some strong situational laughs: what happens when a delighted Abby is asked by girlfriend Harper (Davis) to meet her parents over the festive season.
Abby thinks it's all pointing towards the perfect time for her to propose, but no: Harper hasn't even told her stuffy ironing board-straight East Coast parents that she's gay. Cue one of the most awkward and amusing comedies of the year.
Happiest Season comes with promising critiques. Variety's Owen Gleiberman said: "You're not likely to confuse a movie like this one with art, yet Happiest Season is formula done with feeling; you can believe in the people you're watching."
How to watch Happiest Season in the UK
The great news just out is that a new deal between Sky and content distributor eOne means that Happiest Season will be available on Sky Cinema and NOW TV from Friday 18th December.
Happiest Season release date
If you can't wait until then, Happiest Season was released on the Hulu platform in the US on Wednesday 25th November and will be available to rent or buy in the UK from Thursday 26th November via all the usual streaming platforms.
Who is in the Happiest Season cast?
We're already sold on it with just Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis in the lead roles of girlfriends Abby and Harper. The former needs to introduction, her slacker charm made her a global star in The Twilight Saga, while the latter has starred in The Martian and Blade Runner 2049.
The leads are on thing, but the co-stars in Happiest Season elevate this above any idea that it could be a B-movie:
- GLEE star Alison Brie plays Harper's painful eldest sister Sloane
- Parks and Recreation kook Aubrey Plaza is Riley Johnson, Harper's ex-girlfriend
- Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy is Abby's gay BFF John
- Happiest Season co-writer Mary Holland plays Jane, Harper's older sister
- Oscar winner Mary Steenbergen is Tipper, Harper's mother
- Lgends of Tomorrow star Victoria Garber is Ted, Harper's father
With a cast like this it has to be watchable even if it's a dud which, fortunately, everything points to it not being.
What is the Happiest Season plot?
Things are going well for Abby and Harper. They've moved in together, they've got great lives in New York, a great bunch of friends, but there's one thing missing – Abby, an orphan, has not been introduced to Harper's upwardly middle-class clan.
Harper invites her home for Christmas and Abby is thrilled, deciding that this will be the perfect occasion to get down on one knee and make an honest woman of Harper. Except, no one in the family knows she's gay.
Judging by the Happiest Season trailer, it has enough slapstick to satisfy the broadest of comedy tastes and a surfeit of witty lines.
A sample: “This is why I avoid Christmas, it brings out the worst in everything.”
Harper's mother opens a hallway door to find Abby hiding and says: "Why are you in the closet!"
Stewart told EW recently: "“I grew up watching and loving conventional movies like this. Seeing [marginalised] people loving each other in the middle of something that’s so standardised was really exhilarating and freeing. There’s a lack of confusion and generalisation Clea brings [as a queer woman]. I want people to see that two girls in love is just so fun.”
She added: “You’re not watching [Happiest Season] and going, ‘God, what’s going to happen to them, because the world is scary?’ You already know. It’s a f**king rom-com holiday movie. It’ll work out. And you want to see how it does. It’s relieving, allowing yourself to breathe. It’s a new feeling.”