Film review: Lesbian Christmas kind of Rom Com – The Happiest Season

Happiest Season movie posterI watched the Happiest Season recently. This movie, starring Kristin Stuart (Bella from Twilight) and Alison Brie (Trudy from Mad Men) as those most lesbian of star crossed lovers (and most frequent young dyke hearbreak) – a closet case paired with an out-since-birth-with-supportive parents gal.

Closet case Harper impulsively invites her live in partner Abby home to her family for Christmas. Abby gets her besty to cover for her at work, and agrees to go along, hoping for romantic Christmas togetherness.

Harper’s family is a train wreck of painfully classist condescension. They are downright mean to each other, but particularly to Abby, who like Harper has been forced into a closet she’s never occupied before. Abby behaves with a lot of class despite all this. Harper on the other hand behaves badly, pretending to be straight, encouraging an interested ex boyfriend, and selling her partner down the river at every opportunity.

Abby’s best friend John is my favourite character. He is funny, quirky and down-with-the-patriarchy political, played by Canadian actor Dan Levy. He is more culturally lesbian than the lesbians, and is a good and loyal friend to boot. Him, I would have liked to see a movie about. The father, Ted, played by Victor Garber (also a Canadian-American) was not the nicest guy but does have enough depth that his actions overall end up making sense. Oddly enough, it feels like these two characters anchor the movie.

About mid way, I was really hoping that it would end with Abby dumping Harper’s sorry, disloyal, classism enabling, cowardly ass and perhaps taking up with Harper’s cute and kind ex girlfriend Riley, played by Canadian actress Mackenzie Davis. Abby and Riley end up in a gay bar together singing along to Christmas Carols with drag queens, and it feels in that moment they’ve found the true meaning of Christmas, far more real than the perfectly staged one at Harper’s family home.

I won’t spoil it for you, but you can guess how it ends – it is after all, a Christmas movie. I’d give it about three stars out of five. Is it better than watching a Hallmark movie about a plucky straight gal who wakes up in full makeup moving to the small town she grew up in to care for her mom/grandma/aunt and then ditches her rich city boyfriend and ends up with hunky small town guy? Yes, it is much better than that. So I’ll stop being such a cynical grinch, and support the nice lesbian movie.