Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2020 romantic comedy, Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.
Young couple Abby Holland (Kristen Stewart) and Harper Caldwell (Mackenzie Davis) are out on a date when, wrapped up in the moment, Harper invites Abby home for Christmas to meet her family. Halfway to Harper’s family home, however, Harper comes clean and tells Abby that she has not actually come out to her conservative family.
Based on writer/director Clea DuVall’s own experiences, Happiest Season’s strength is the excellent chemistry between Stewart and Davis. Absolutely smitten with the Christmas season, the two embark on a journey to Harper’s home and her past, where Abby slowly learns that Harper isn’t all she seems.
While Harper conforms back into her familial role with her rivalling siblings, Abby is thrust into the lion’s den, having to act as Harper’s orphaned college roommate. Forced to put up with Harper’s family and her exes, Abby has an ally in gay best friend John (Dan Levy), who not only (poorly) looks after Abby’s pets while she is away, but offers much needed emotional support during this trying time.
Beautifully shot on location in Pittsburgh, the streets, cafes, cinema and bars are cosy and evoke the magic of Christmas. Abby is a fish-out-of-water, struggling to stay afloat in a world of sophisticated dinners and elegant parties where reputation and image is everything. Harper is her lifeline, which is in danger of being severed!
Verdict: An utterly charming outing for Stewart and Davis that will melt the coldest of hearts this Christmas season. 5 stars.
- Luke McWilliams | themovieclub.net