The end of the year inevitably brings along the cluster of Christmas/ December holiday movies and the latest is Happiest Season starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen and Dan Levy. Where do I start with a ROM-COM that is just that; your typical Christmas Rom-Com? Throw in a bunch of well known and well respected actors with a storyline that throws things into chaos from the beginning while adding in some tinsel and bright Christmas lights storylines and you got yourself a Christmas season movie.
So, let’s get the obvious out of the way; Abby (Kristen Stewart) has been invited to spend Christmas with her partner Harper’s family. The problem? Harper hasn’t told her parents she is gay. This opens for plenty of antics, mix ups and cover ups that should be hilarious and heart-warming. Don’t get me wrong there were funny moments that had the laugh out loud factor, but I couldn’t help think that this movie needed something more.
Mary Steenburgen as Tipper and Victor Garber as Ted were effortless in their performances as the regimented, loving yet rigid parents while sisters Sloane (Alison Brie) and in particular Jane (Mary Holland) added some colour to the bland family dynamics.
While she excelled in the dramatic scenes there wasn’t enough room for Kristen Stewart to shine as a comedic actor and there could have had more shine and comedy to some of her scenes. The most important element missing though was the chemistry between Abby and Harper whereas you could feel more heat radiating between Harper’s ex Riley (Aubrey Plaza) and Abby. The other dynamic adding some bright Christmas cheer was John (Dan Levy) who lit up each scene with comedic relief and heartfelt common sense advice as Abby’s best friend.
Happiest Season is a lighthearted cute Holiday Season movie that hits all the cheesy Christmas tones. Its not a disappointing movie but it certainly doesn’t break any LGBTQIA barriers. The good thing about this movie is that it’s just as ordinary as many of the heterosexual Christmas themed Rom-Coms. You will laugh, you will smile, you will cringe and you will put it into the “Another Christmas” movie pile to watch again next season.
Movie Review By Anastasia Lambis