Film Review: Happiest Season

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, but I did wish Happiest Season would be just a little bit better. It’s a hilarious holiday film, don’t get me wrong, but stumbling through its biggest moments keeps the film from being great.

Basic Synopsis: A lot is asked of the girlfriend of a closeted woman when this truth is revealed on the carride down for the holidays with said woman’s family.

First Things First: Happiest Season was sold as a lesbian Christmas movie, but we all know this movie is really about perfect sibling Jane. Mary Holland better be getting all the roles from here on out.

Favorite Line: “The only reason that Jane is ok is because we gave up on her after she wouldn’t stop biting in pre-school.” Honestly I wrote down practically every one of Jane’s lines, as well as all of those about her.

Brief Thoughts: Overall Happiest Season does a lot of things right, just look at the number of quotes I wrote down and you’ll see there are a lot of hilarious characters impossible not to enjoy. But, as I always say with movies like Meet the Parents, watching people be this type of uncomfortable and miserable is not a pleasant experience for me. So much so that it got to the point that I was no longer cheering for the couple, as understandable as Harper’s struggle is; I just wanted Abby to go home and never look back. Or just look back long enough to grab Jane’s hand and rescue her from the god awful family. If it wasn’t for one late stage speech from Dan Levy’s character – who, like Mary Holland, steals the show – I probably would’ve lost all sympathy for Harper because of a few actions she takes (RIP that present, you know the one); but he reminded me that her situation is awful and simply unknowable for me. I didn’t have to live in fear of losing my family due to who I am, and no matter how painful and infuriating some of what she does in order to hold onto the security of being the person her parents want her to be is, she is more than deserving of sympathy, understanding, and compassion. 

Biggest Complaint: From moment one it’s very easy to be on Team Abby given the situation she’s unfairly and unexpectedly thrust into, and I think a few more scenes with Harper further cementing her relationship and love for Abby and doing more to explore her relationship with her family and how terrified she is for her truth to be revealed would’ve gone a long way. So, as much as it pains me to say given my love for Lauren Lapkus, maybe get rid of the completely unnecessary mall scenes since that time could’ve been better spent elsewhere. 

Final Thoughts: I’ve already given Happiest Season a second watch after sitting with it for a bit, and I will say doing so helped tamp down my anger somewhat, with my biggest complaints smoothing out just a bit. Except when it comes to the treatment of Jane. We must protecc Jane at all costs.

So what’d you think of Happiest Season? Be sure to let me know in the comments below or over on twitter, where you can find me at BewareOfTrees.

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