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Happiest Season Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, at the center of the family on Christmas morning

We may not have hit the Thanksgiving holiday just yet, but the Christmas movies are already descending upon us. One such movie is co-writer/director Clea DuVall’s new holiday rom-com Happiest Season, which sees Kristen Stewart going home with girlfriend Mackenzie Davis for a rather complicated family holiday. As of today the reviews are in, and the reaction to the film has been quite exciting to behold. Here’s what the critics think of Happiest Season! Starting with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, his in-house review gave the film 4 stars, and praised it as follows:

It’s successfully both traditional and modern, telling a story with very real characters, but it also never misses a moment to be laugh-out-loud funny.

The complications that arise in Happiest Season are both refreshingly modern, and traditional in their charm. With Mackenzie Davis’ Harper reveals to her girlfriend that she’s never come out to her family, the die is cast for some shenanigans we’re used to seeing in more conventional movies of this stripe. However, Clea DuVall and Mary Holland’s script seems to have made some fresh snow out of this particularly tested blizzard, as noted by reviewer Leigh Monson, in their from What To Watch:

'Happiest Season' is cute mix of holiday fluff and genuine pathos, delivered by a cast giving their all to material worthy of their talents.

Happiest Season’s cast is certainly something that warrants discussion as well. Considering Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis are flanked by the likes of Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Dan Levy, Allison Brie, and Aubrey Plaza, it’s basically the sort of roster you can’t lose with. And the popular opinion seems to be that they haven’t. Lewis Knight at The Daily Mirror joins the choir of praise with the following thoughts:

Happiest Season is a glossy and heartfelt Christmas rom-com that provides warmth and a few laughs - ideal for a Yuletide evening at home.

Originally intended for theatrical release, Happiest Season found itself becoming one of the many films picked up for US distribution on the Hulu streaming platform. While it’s sounding like quite the bummer, the bright side is that there’s an opportunity for the Christmas cheer to hit as many homes as possible upon release. And given how Courtney Howard’s review over at Fresh Fiction describes Happiest Season, it sounds like it would make a perfect double feature with The Holiday, and for these specific reasons:

The poignancy of its sentiments, the welcoming beauty of its Nancy Meyers-esque aesthetic and its essential need in the marketplace stand to make things merry and bright.

A top notch cast, with a love story for the ages, and a Christmas rom-com worthy of a Nancy Meyers comparison? That’s starting to make Happiest Season sound like the hot and heartwarming ticket for this year’s yuletide. And you won’t have to wait too much longer to see it, as director Clea DuVall’s festive offering will be home for the holidays when it debuts on Hulu, November 25th. Though the film will still be theatrically distributed internationally, so check your local listings extra carefully. And be sure to check out our 2020 release schedule, for all the movies that still intend on making it to theaters throughout the rest of this year.

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