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  • Hamish Hart

Happiest Season (2020) Review

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

RATING: 7/10

MANY families may be separated due to the current state of the world, but 2020’s annual Christmas blockbuster, Happiest Season, reminds everyone about the importance of connectedness and acceptance during a time we need it most.

Abby (Stewart) is planning to propose to her long-time girlfriend, Harper (Davis), during a first-time meeting with Harper’s family on Christmas morning.

But when Abby learns that Harper has kept their lesbian relationship a secret from her high-class family, she begins to question her true love’s desire for an ever-lasting marriage.

Acclaimed actress Clea DuVall sits in the director’s chair to deliver this Christmas flick, which was heavily advertised as being a romantic comedy to enjoy over the holiday.

Although the film has plenty of humorous scenes to chuckle and smile at, Happiest Season ironically shines brighter during its most pessimistic moments.

Chemistry is absolutely essential to make these emotional scenes work, and Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis have it in spades.

The two leading ladies work tremendously well together, delivering tear-jerking performances during the film’s third act where they open themselves up to one another before inevitably reconciling through tender mannerisms and realistic writing courtesy of DuVall.

Although Stewart and Davis work well together the same cannot be said for Harper’s family who, despite delivering an occasional funny scene, did very little interesting leading up to the inevitable climax.

Harper’s sisters felt like wasted potential throughout, with Mary Holland’s comic-relief character of Jane feeling overbearing at times, and Alison Brie’s Sloane being unbearably petty and unredeemable by the film’s climax.

Aubrey Plaza’s Riley was a much-needed addition to the film, acting as guidance for Abby during her most vulnerable moments. Her addition was a breath of fresh air and never acted like a foil set on destroying Abby’s relationship despite being an ex-girlfriend of Harper.

Audiences seem to be split down the middle with Happiest Season, but one aspect of the movie that all can agree with is its inspiring message to be yourself and never second guess who you are.

Stellar performances by Stewart, Davis and Plaza, as well as uplifting scenes of humour and affection made Happiest Season one of my favourite films of 2020, even causing me to second guess myself during the will-they-won’t-they storyline.

The film stands as a firm reminder to be true to yourself no matter what the world may think of you, and with 2020 causing many families to be separated this Christmas, Happiest Season is a much-watch for anyone still searching for their holiday spirit.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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