Why I Didn’t Love Happiest Season—and Why That’s Okay

Sirianna Blanck, Editor-in-chief

WARNING: The following contains possible spoilers for Happiest Season on Hulu.

In time for the holidays, Hulu has come out with a new Christmas rom-com, called Happiest Season. It follows two girlfriends Abby (played by Kristen Stewart) and Harper (played by Mackenzie Davis) who decide to visit Harper’s family for Christmas. There’s one catch, however: Harper lied to Abby about having come out the summer before. Now, Abby must pretend to be Harper’s roommate throughout the week while family drama ensues.

The prompt isn’t bad. I don’t love the fact Harper has been lying to their significant other for like half a year but we’ll let it slide, just like Abby did. All in all, I found the movie to be just okay.

Dan Levy’s character gave a truly great speech on coming out. Aubrey Plaza played Harper’s ex-girlfriend which was truly awesome. But all in all, the movie wasn’t very likeable. Why? Because the characters were unlikeable.

I found a total of 5 characters that I enjoyed watching in a scene. I liked our main character, Abby, thank goodness. Dan Levy as the best friend was pretty charming and, of course, I loved Aubrey Plaza in all her glory. Lastly, I liked the nerdy sister, who I decided the rest of the characters were simply too mean toward, and the other sister’s husband, who simply was just nice to everybody.

Notice how I didn’t mention Harper, who this movie is mostly about. Now, I think her being unlikeable at times was part of the intention. After all, we’re watching this through Abby’s eyes, who gets upset with her quite a lot. It makes sense for us not to like her all the time, but I never liked her, period. She was just very boring and simple, and I couldn’t tell you a thing about her character. All I remember is that she was a writerand it’s only been 24 hours since I watched the movie. I don’t think they gave her any personality, past coming out and being from a white politician’s family.

On an off-topic note, I think Harper’s character being bisexual could have very much helped the boyfriend plot. If she was a lesbian, like the movie proclaimed over and over, why did the movie give so much time to the ex-boyfriend plot? Why was Abby so jealous of this ex-boyfriend? Ignore me, or explain this to me.

My last problem is the fact that (Spoiler alert here: Skip to the next paragraph if you want) technically, Harper gets outed? The movie does not address this at all as a problem. It simply moves on so that Harper can properly come out. For her sister to do that, regardless of the situation, was simply wrong, and for the sister to never apologize… I want to talk to the writers.

Now, someone might say: aren’t you glad that there’s a new Christmas movie about a lesbian coming out while fighting with her sisters at a Christmas party; that’s representation right? It is representation, something I believe should be one of the forefronts of our entertainment. To me, there is no such thing as too much representation. I love that this movie gave us a new couple to watch struggle with Christmas.

I can’t name another LGBT Christmas rom-com, so yes, I’m so glad they made it. I loved seeing characters like myself, and perhaps if it were a different year, it would have been on the big screen. That’s amazing.

But I also think it’s fair for me to have wanted more. I wish it had been funnier. I wish the characters had been more likeable. As someone who loves rom-coms, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a better one.

So why is it perfectly okay for me not to like this movie? Because at the end of the day, it’s better than half the Christmas movies out there. I may not have liked it, but I know that someone out there saw themself in Harper or Abby or Riley, and that means more than any review I could give of the movie.

That’s the power of creating LGBT movies. Any other Christmas movie with unlikeable characters would be washed down the drain of infinite Christmas movies. But, it wasn’t just another Christmas rom-com. It was another step, no matter the size, towards movies that represent the LGBT community.

If you have Hulu and are looking for some lesbian Christmas vibes, I sincerely hope you check it out. Yes, despite my bad review, I think you should watch it. I think you should watch it because I could tell that it wasn’t written by a bunch of straight writers pandering to the community. It was made with love by the community for a holiday season that is hard for so many people. It’s a movie about love and showing that love to the world, and I think that no matter my thoughts, it still accomplished that.