Ben Oliver

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Happiest Season

It’s kind of fun having a secret.
08 December 2020

A couple of women (Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis) in a serious relationship go to visit their parents for Christmas. The parents don’t know they are gay and the two try hard to hide it, waiting to come out until just the right moment.

There aren’t a huge amount of lesbian Christmas rom-coms out there so it’s cool to see this fresh take on an otherwise tired genre. On the surface (and it’s 90% surface) it’s a funny and schlocky hallmark movie with some unusually good actors in it.

I can’t move past this niggling feeling that the central relationship is quite abusive. Harper invites Abby to her parents’ house, but immediately regrets her decision before they even get there. Fair enough, cold feet etc, but then at the house she spends the whole time with her (male) ex and repeatedly denies her love for Abby. Harper becomes the villain, so it’s galling when they inevitably get back together right at the end despite Abby making it clear she doesn’t want to, and having been shat on by her girlfriend throughout the film.

I’m probably biased because Stewart and Davis have little on-screen chemistry whereas when Stewart meets Aubrey Plaza’s character sparks fly and you see her character open up. Logically it makes no sense they would get together, they’ve known each other for a day, but for my movie-watching monkey brain it would have been the sensible ending.

I’ve read way too much into this.