Hulu has given us a new favorite to add to our annual holiday watch lists with Happiest Season. The film follows Harper (Mackenzie Davis) as she takes her girlfriend (Abby) home to spend Christmas with her family, and reveals before they arrive that she hasn’t yet come out to her family. We’ve all seen holiday movies with romance at the center, but focusing on a lesbian couple with this angle feels new and different. Director Clea DuVall recently shared how LGBTQ representation got Happiest Season its stellar cast.
In addition to Twilight’s Kristen Stewart and The Turning star Mackenzie Davis, Happiest Season features Schitt’s Creek favorite Dan Levy, Mary Steenburgen and Alison Brie to name a few. It was the important LGBTQ storyline that got them all on board. As Clea DuVall said in an interview with CinemaBlend,
I think people were really attracted to being a part of something that had never been done on this level before. I know that there are several people in the cast who cited that as their reason they wanted to be a part of it. And then I also think that, you know, starting with Mary and then Kristen came on board, I think then people also sort of started to see as the cast assembled and they were like, ‘Oh, I want to work with that actor, too.’ It was really I think this combination of this - our incredible cast attracting more cast and then also wanting to be a part of this story.
How special it is to not only get to work with amazing people that are dedicated to their craft but who also all have a heart for the story. Kristen Stewart has said the film ‘feels historical’ referring to the moment where Dan Levy’s character, John, tells his coming out story. I agree the moment with John is particularly gripping, and what I love about Happiest Season is that every character gets their own moment of emotional breakthrough.
Not only do we get to see Harper’s (Mackenzie Davis) journey to acceptance, but also Abby’s (Kristen Stewart) reaction. In addition, we see stories of Harper’s family and learn why she chose to keep her identity secret into her adult life. Referring to the film’s story as a whole, Mary Holland (who plays the younger sister of Mackenzie Davis’ character) told CinemaBlend:
It’s also just a beautiful story. It feels very important and it feels so fun and so celebratory and joyful and at the same time has a real emotional depth to it that I think takes you on such an incredible journey. Like it is just a really gorgeous story and I just think everybody was really excited to be a part of the telling of it.
Evident in every single scene of this film is the passion of the cast. Knowing how excited they all were to be a part of it definitely had a hand in making Happiest Season as wonderful as it is. It’s been well received by critics and fans alike, with many noting the importance of the story and very real characters alongside great humor.