Happiest Season (2020)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Happiest Season (2020) Poster

A holiday romantic comedy that captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family's acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.


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3 December 2020 | toddsgraham
| Very Entertaining Christmas RomCom...
It is no Richard Curtis film, but it is fun and entertaining nonetheless. The plot here - the trip home to meet the family where things go wrong/haywire - is quite a common plot in this genre of film, i.e., the Christmas romantic comedy. The writers (DuVall and Holland) also draw on a popular plot device: i.e., deception - the fake relationship intended to deceive family and friends (this year, Holidate and Midnight at the Magnolia, come to mind). The twist in this film, of course, is that it is a same-sex female relationship, where they pretend to be roommates as opposed to a couple. Overall, I thought this worked well. There is a lot of good and funny dialogue in this movie; I found myself laughing quite a bit, at times. At the heart of the humour for me was Sloane and Jane (the two sisters), and Tipper (the mother). The writers did a good job of developing the lines and dialogue here. That said, I thought the biggest shortcoming of the movie was that the writers did not spend enough time developing the relationship between Abby and Harper (the leads) before the trip home, before the deception began. In essence, we get one scene before they are off to visit the family for Christmas. The writers could have spent more time setting up why these two, Abby (played by Kristen Stewart) and Harper (played by Mackenzie Davis), are together, in love as it were. The chemistry between the two is never really established. Because the film spends much of the time playing out the deception, I found myself asking (towards the middle to end of the film): why are these two together? Of course, at the very end, the writers try to sort this out with a heartfelt reveal, coming out, by Harper. But by then, I felt it was too late, I already had a 'bad taste in my mouth'. The acting was impressive overall. The leads both had great performances. I especially enjoyed Mary Steenburgen's portrayal of Tipper (she was very funny!). Alison Brie (as Sloane) and Mary Holland (as Jane) were great too (hilarious in some scenes, I thought). You are in for a treat with these performances. Leaving the shortcoming aside, this is a fun (and at times, emotional) Christmas romcom. I really enjoyed it, thus I highly recommend it.

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