Happiest Season: Movie Review

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Stewart plays Abby, in this movie. She’s a PhD student in art who is forced to return to the closet while choosing to spend Christmas with her girlfriend’s family. To explain why Abby would agree to such a heart-breaking ordeal- her persona is an orphan with no where to go. She seems to only have one friend, a gay guy called John who tracks his Grindr dates’ phones. 
Whether this is meant to be a humorous character trait or a clumsy attempt to explain him, or whether the director intended his character to show that gay men using sex apps are criminals is a trouble mystery.
Abby’s preference in girlfriends is just as dubious as her preference to friends. Before to Christmas, she purchases a ring and plans to propose to Harper (Mackenzie Davis) after obtaining permission from her father. There is, however, a twist in the story. As Harper drives Abby to meet the parents for the first time, she discloses that they are unaware of her sexual orientation – and also that Abby will just have to fake being straight for the period of the holiday. 
Nothing says “Christmas” like the sound of alarm clocks ringing.   Which, have been ringing continuously since the release of Happiest Season, as queer viewers discover themselves reliving the death of their self-esteem and making themselves invisible for their partner’s families. 
Surprisingly, Abby finds herself in a hell hole of conservative beliefs upon her arrival. Harper’s father is a self centered father figure running for public office, and much of his time is spent maintaining images in front of wealthy investors and supporters. 
At home, Harper morphs into her father’s little straight girl, competes with her siblings for his attention, and abandons Abby in order to stay out late with the former boyfriend her parents want her to rekindle her relationship with. While this is going on, Abby is being forced to sleep in the basement. She seems to be unable to leave because she has been given no agency by the screenwriters. 
There are many reasons people don’t come out, and fear of rejection can cause desperate behaviour. The problem with Harper’s character is not that she’s closeted but that viewers are given nothing to like. During one of Abby’s many periods of abandonment she meets Harper’s high school ex-girlfriend Riley, who tells a terrible tale of how Harper destroyed her school life by spreading a rumour that she was obsessed with her instead of admitting they were a couple. Add to this the lack of onscreen chemistry between Stewart and Davis, and the relationship viewers are meant to root for transforms into a poisoned chalice.
The climax turns up at the family Christmas Eve party with labored inevitability. Abby momentarily emerges into her senses and walks out after witnessing Harper flirting (again) with her ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, the glimmer of hope does not last long. At the very same party, Harper is outed by her sibling in front of her mom and dad, who quickly acknowledge that their family’s wellbeing is more essential than conforming to social expectations.

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