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Happiest Season

6.61 h 41 min2020X-Ray12
Happiest Season is a modern holiday rom-com which captures the story of a young woman whose plan to propose to her girlfriend while at her family's annual holiday party is upended when she discovers her partner hasn't yet come out to her conservative parents.
Clea Duvall
Kristen StewartMackenzie DavisAlison Brie
English [CC]
Audio Languages
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Supporting actors
Dan LevyAubrey PlazaVictor GarberMary SteenbergenMary Holland
Isaac KlausnerMarty Bowen
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

2784 global ratings

  1. 63% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

SallyTReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Awkward, Funny, Representative but only almost perfect.
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As a 30 something gay woman who is pretty obsessed with Christmas this film has all the makings of being my most favourite thing ever. I looked past the fact that I have always wondered what Kristen Stewart thinks acting is (because clearly she has no idea) and sat down to watch this film with my partner.

** Spoilers Ahead**

It started off well - lesbian couple filmed as though it were as normal as fairy lights at Christmas for them to be the leading stars, happy in their little life but with a question over their heads about how to spend the holidays. Cue the trip of every lesbian's worst nightmare - being taken to your girlfriends family home without them having a clue that their daughter is gay. Constantly throughout the film we were screaming at the TV "GO HOME" or "GET OUT OF THERE". No normal person would have put up with half of what Abbie did and whilst it wasn't all that far fetched to see someone putting up with absolute nonsense from the person they loved - it did get a bit questionable toward the end. The fear that Harper was living in is a real thing and most gay people I know have gone through it but I don't know many of them who would have picked hanging out with their ex boyfriend over their current girlfriend when they have barely spent two seconds together in days. Things like that just meant most of the audience gave up on Harper and didn't want Abbie to forgive her at the end, which is a shame because I think had it been slightly more subtle people would have related to Harper's situation and forgiven her actions.

Obviously Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy are the stars in this and it's a shame that we didn't see them get their happily ever after as well, but the 'wingmen' rarely do I suppose! (Though blink and you'll miss Aubrey hugging Clea Duvall in the end credit photos!) I also absolutely LOVED Mary Holland in her role - she was perfection.

Anyway, to sum all that up - this is a great 'Hey I'm being noticed' film for lesbians everywhere - with enough laughs, cringes and relatable moments that make the film a joy to watch. Just leave your 'what's acceptable within a relationship' opinions at the door.
2 people found this helpful
LouReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 November 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointed also #abbyandriley
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*Spoilers Ahead* I expected the typical holiday rom com antics and there were plenty but overall I think this is a pretty poor representation of a relationship. I didn't see any redeeming qualities in Harper (Mackenzie Davis) she was straight up mentally/emotionally abusive to Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Riley (Aubrey Plaza - more on her later) also there was very little chemistry. In Kristen portrail of Abby you can see that she clearly adores Harper and was eager to do anything to make her happy, but I just didn't see it reciprocated. Don't get me wrong the relationship felt real, not like some queer media that feels false.

I saw an interview where Aubrey Plaza was asked what she wanted people to take away from the film. Aubrey said that she wanted people to come out wishing that Abby and Riley had got together and that they would scream it from the rooftops. So here I am screaming! Watch their scenes, Riley has been hurt and messed around by Harper too and there is a fun spark between the two characters and their witty banter. She saved the film for me.

It's like in the process of attempting to show Harpers struggle with coming out that they are willing to forgive her anything, without her actually redeeming herself. Even as a sibling, Abby seems to get praise for just being her. I felt more sympathy for Sloane (Alison Brie )the older sister with the picture perfect family when she blurts that her marriage is over.

Kristen Stewart did brilliantly and looks fantastic doing it. Would I watch a spin off where Riley comes back for Abby...yes!
Its a pity that this is the first big name Queer holiday movie there are others on smaller budgets that at least have more positive representation.

For anyones who is interested, my Christmas gift to you...check out Season of Love on Tello Films and enjoy lots of other content while you are there 😘
23 people found this helpful
AeolianReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 November 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A charming, Christmassy film with a realistic feel to the human relationships.
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Anyone who is gay understands the turmoil and torment of the "do I tell them" or "don't I tell them" scenario when you are growing up and you just know that your otherwise lovely parents are going to have a big, big problem understanding your sexuality. This is compounded when, after years of effectively living a double life, you find someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. How do you reconcile these two worlds, and all the other relationships caught up in limbo between the two? That is the scenario at the core of this film. It is good, and sadly unusual, to see this situation, an everyday one to millions of people, portrayed on the screen in a sympathetic way. There are plenty of laughs en route and the cast is uniformly excellent. You don't have to be gay to enjoy this film, though gay folk will appreciate being included in a realistic way for once. Highly recommended!
Mandrek LarlReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 December 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
This Christmas we all need some laughter and a happy ending, and "Happiest Season" delivers …
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With the outside lights up and the first doors on our advent calendars opened, a wine advent calendar for the Memsahib and pork scratchings for yours truly, Christmas round ours was underway, and as a mid-week treat we settled down to watch "Happiest Season" on Amazon Prime.

And what a treat. Without giving too much away, with elements of "Meet the Parents", "Happiest Season" is a lesbian rom-com of highs and lows, of awkward cringey-moments and slap-stick comedy prat-falls, but underneath it all there's a tender story about the girl (Kristen Stewart as Abby) who loves the girl (Mackenzie Davis as Harper) who hasn't come out to her parents and the family dynamics of Harper's outwardly "picture perfect" and inwardly dysfunctional family.

OK, so as a lesbian love-story it ticks the boxes, but there's little that's new in the story and you know they'll all live happily ever after, but so what? It's Christmas 2020 and this Christmas more so than most we're all in need of some laughter and a happy ending, and "Happiest Season" delivers.

PS Kristen Stewart as Abby is superb, her comic and emotional performances alone make "Happiest Season" worth watching.
One person found this helpful
Hadas NahshonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 December 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
There IS such a thing as bad publicity
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I grew up aching to see myself on TV, to see the struggle I had, the fear of being an outcast, the self-acceptance of being different, the family I would one day have. I spent my formative years without that, and after watching this movie, boy, am I glad it wasn't around for those years. I do not deserve to have the first Christmas movie that shows ME for who I am try to romanticize such an abusive, poisonous relationship.

Coming out stories should be told, yes, even the difficult ones, but not like this. And yes, forgiveness is also important, but either give it the time and effort to be believable, and the clear rebuke necessary beforehand, or do not tell the story at all. I hope that no queer young woman thinks it's acceptable to be treated this way, regardless of how much pain and suffering the abuse stems from, and if she chooses to forgive, it should be after a sincere apology and proof of a change in the toxic behavior OVER TIME, not overnight.

The two starts are solely for Dan Levy's beautiful speech on coming out, and Kristen Stewart's reply that she would like to date someone who is ready to come out. It was a beautiful, rare scene that makes it obvious after all that this movie was written by someone who truly knows how all of this feels.
TJ RamsbottomReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Festive treat
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Happiest Season owes a lot to The Family Stone (like a LOT) and that happens to be my favourite Xmas film. But it's testament to Clea Duvall that it didn't stop me absolutely loving this.

It ticks three difficult boxes: Christmas, comedy & romance. The USP the studio is pushing is that HS has a gay central couple, but it's not quite as trailblazing as it would like to think; TFS had a gay couple, albeit as side characters. Similar films exist, I'm sure, just not from a major studio with major stars.

Kristen Stewart & Mackenzie Davis play a couple who go to the latter's family home for Christmas but must pretend they're just flatmates so as not to offend the family's lofty ideals.

The awkward comedy that follows is as expected (and very funny thanks to a strong supporting cast) but then it takes a slightly darker, genuinely uncomfortable shift in tone where Davis ignores Stewart to save face with her family & a happy ending suddenly doesn't seem guaranteed. This is the edge the film has over more fluffy Xmas fare.

But tense moments are usually bookended with well-timed jokes (Mary Steenburgen's OCD mother & Mary Holland as perpetually upbeat daughter Jane are both terrific). However, Stewart has the meatiest role of the two leads, getting to stretch both her comedic & dramatic muscles. She's never been better. Meanwhile Dan Levy & Aubrey Plaza pop up in small but welcome supporting roles.

Happiest Season is definitely making my Top Ten Xmas Films list. It's great.
2 people found this helpful
Mark Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful LGBTQIA+ Christmas Coming Out Movie
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Finally! A touching, witty romantic comedy that earns its place among the Christmas classics, providing some much needed LGBTQIA+ representation to an otherwise heterosexual dominated genre. At the core of Abbey and Harper's heartwarming story, is the message of unconditional acceptance. This monumental movie, which captures the true essence of a queer experience, will give members of the LGBTQIA+ community something fun to enjoy and share with the entire family during the holiday season.

Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis , Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy, Mary Holland, Victor Garber, and Mary Steenburgen, follows a young woman (Harper) who struggles to come out to her Conservative parents during the Christmas holidays. Harper's girlfriend, Abbey, plans to propose while spending the holidays at Harper's family home. However, it is only when Harper reveals to Abbey that she hasn't yet come out to her family, do the trials and tribulations follow, testing the strength of Abbey and Harper's relationship.

An accurate depiction of a coming out experience, Happiest Season is refreshing and cleverly written by Clea DuVall and Mary Holland, establishing rewarding characters and an endearing story for audiences to enjoy. While discussing serious subject matter, Happiest Season masterfully juggles the anxiety many LGBTQIA+ people experience when planning to come out to friends and family, within the context of an entertaining romantic comedy. I highly recommend watching Happiest Season if you want to get into the Christmas spirit!
14 people found this helpful
Ali RichardsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 March 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Good alternative holiday film
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I enjoyed most of this. My only concern is that it leaves a bit of a bad aftertaste. Believing that someone can behave the way they want because they're afraid of their familial relationships breaking down, and not really acknowledging how badly behaved they have been. Is not quite the right message to send out.

The acting was pretty solid, the cast are decent. Very pleased to see how Daniel Levy plays a gay guy similar to himself, would definitely liked to have seen him a lot more throughout the film. Also a nod to his experience in queer story telling would've been good to use on this film.
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