“leave it to lesbians to call a movie ‘Happiest Season’ and it’s 1 hr 40 minutes of abject emotional suffering.” -@jestom
Release date: November 25, 2020
Director: Clea DuVall
Who should watch this movie: WLW. People who know and love a lesbian.
When should you watch this movie: At Christmas with your chosen family.
The sell: There are a lot of good reasons to watch this movie and Aubrey Plaza accounts for most of them. As far as story goes, however, this movie is deeply frustrating. The theme of coming out, while tired and overdone, remains relevant in a world still struggling with acceptance. To its credit, this movie expands on past iterations of this trope, still exploring fear and shame, but also the effect our shame has on people around us. It shows how the ripple of self loathing causes pain to our loved ones, even in the most supportive relationships. While I do believe this movie makes its point well (and by well I mean delivered in a moving monologue by Dan Levy), the ending leaves much to be desired. In an attempt to avoid spoilers, I’ll state broadly that the ending is entirely at odds with the film’s thesis, and undermines an otherwise well-made argument for self-determination. The movie raises interesting questions about relationship conflict but fails to resolve them in a meaningful or satisfying way. Throughout it all, Kristen Stewart plays herself, and looks good doing it. One could argue that her Christmas party attire alone is enough to salvage an otherwise disappointing movie, but in truth, it’s the outfit AND the yearning glances set to Tegan and Sara.