Holiday rom-coms usually follow the same formula, but every once in a while, we get something that feels a little bit different. That’s the case with Happiest Season, the heartfelt new comedy by Clea DuVall that feels just like the early Christmas present we deserve right now.
Kristen Stewart takes on the role of Abby, who’s planning to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) at a Christmas party at her family home. The only catch? Harper still hasn’t come out to her conservative parents, and they think Abby is just her platonic roommate.
The chemistry between Stewart and Davis is the strongest in the early scenes of the movie while the supporting actors do a much better job carrying the rest of it. Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy is as hilarious as always as Abby’s best friend, and Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza does a great job bringing some nuance to the role of Harper’s secret ex-girlfriend.
We’re used to Levy and Plaza doing a great job in each project they appear in, but the real MVP of Happiest Season is the relative newcomer Mary Holland. Surrounded by a cast of established actors, including Alison Brie, Victor Garber, and Mary Steenburgen, she manages to shine the brightest as Harper’s quirky sister Jane, who steals every scene she’s in.
Happiest Season falls into some of the common traps of “meet the parents while harboring a huge secret” trope, but it’s a genuinely enjoyable and charming Hulu original. The relationship between the two leads could’ve been better fleshed-out, but the movie makes up for it with its truly hilarious supporting cast, making this the perfect rom-com to add to your watch list this holiday season.