Home Explainers Happiest Season: Know how this queer rom-com came to an end!


Happiest Season: Know how this queer rom-com came to an end!

Happiest Season is a 2020 American romantic comedy movie directed by Clea DuVall. DuVall has again worked with Mary Holland after “Veep” for the screenplay of this film. The film consists of a cast of  Kristen Stewart,  Mackenzie Davis,  Alison BrieAubrey PlazaDan LevyMary HollandVictor Garber and Mary Steenburgen,. It revolves around a woman and portrays her struggles to open up to her conservative parents during Christmas.
Happiest Season is a light, fun and feel-good movie with a pinch of romance and comedy. The film shows a delightfully genuine gay love story in the pretext of this holiday plot.

Happiest Season Cast: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen. Released on November 26, 2020. Source: IMDb

In these past few years there has been an overdrive in holiday-themed particularly Christmas – themed rom-coms. Obviously, Happiest Season follows the trend with one unique feature that it’s a love story of people of the same sex. Rom-coms usually portray stories of love between heterosexual people, thereby throwing queer love stories aside. In such a fashion, Happiest Season’s story feels somewhat revolutionary.

“Happiest Season” confusingly doesn’t contain any of the incisiveness DuVall formerly aimed to prove as a storyteller. It does seem a bit mind-changing for the society. But, overall it seems as if the writer thought that her film— of a mainstream genre, star-packed, studio holiday romedy woven around a homosexual couple—is upright and worthy enough in itself for it’s existence.


If you haven’t watched the movie, we recommend you to do so cause you won’t be releasing so much serotonin otherwise!

So when the movie has already left us feeling so pleasant and delighted, why not look over the impact they left on us before the curtains drew?

Caution! Spoilers Ahead!

Abby And Harper Reconcile And Get Engaged

Happiest Season’s centre of focus is Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (MacKenzie Davis). To be very honest, there was an actual phase in the movie where one would wonder if they’d have a happy ending. The movie shows Harper asking Abby last minute to join her and act as if they are both straight. Harper’s plan of course turns out to be a tragedy as she alienates her girlfriend further and further throughout the movie until Abby reaches her utmost limit. Abby is about to leave for home with John (played by Dan Levy) when Sloane (played by Alison Brie) encounters them together and reveals her secret in front of the entire family during the White Elephant party. Harper, who is still hesitant to open up,  denies her truth until the party has been winded up.

Harper’s actions have broken Abby’s heart and still leaves after she finally speaks the truth to her family. She spills out her heart to John, that makes her realize that she is meant to be with someone who easily accepts their sexuality. John strikes a valid point describing how everyone’s pricess of opening up is distinct and everyone has their own timing for that, giving Abby some added empathy for her girlfriend. It sounds like telling her parents before they died was an easier deal for Abby than Harper’s situation is calling for. Afterwards, while Abby and John are at a gas station, Harper pulls up and promises Abby that she is into her for the long term and requests her for a second chance. And a year later, the couple is happily affianced as Abby had primarily planned.

Mackenzie Davis, Clea DuVall, and Kristen Stewart on the set of “Happiest Season. Source: Los Angeles Times

There’s A Glimpse Of Optimism For Sloane And Her Husband

Harper’s eldest sister Sloane is essential for the plot of Happiest Season for two major reasons. Firstly because she once outed her sister, bringing more drama. Secondly, because the character shows that the family’s problems with the truth is much more wider than homophobia. Sloane is clearly high on her nerves and has a kind of competition going with Harper. However, we observe that the root issue here is a divorce process going on between her and her husband Eric (played by Burl Moseley). After Harper confesses the truth, Sloane comes out that she and Eric have been separated for months. When the movie ends, we watch the parents taking short glimpses of each other, indicating that they’ll either sort things  or at least be in peace as co-parents.

Jane Becomes A Best-Selling Fantasy Author

The oddball sister of the Caldwell kids is Jane (Mary Holland), who has also contributed to the screenplay of the film by the way! No wonder she tucked in some of the most hillarious lines. Primarily, Jane’s character seems excessively annoying. She is like one of those family members you will refrain from getting caught with alone on Christmas Eve. But when Happiest Season comes near the end, she became my favorite member of the family. She’s dedicatedly devoted to her family and is a powerhouse of artistic talents. Even though her sisters slashed her painting, she completed her fantasy book Shadow Dreamers and the Second Sister, which became New York Times bestseller.


Tipper Strikes Up A New Hobby In Karate

Mary Steenburgen’s Tipper, who is obviously fabulous, but also a total mom, is the matriarch of the Cadwell family. Tipper can be a trouble-maker in Happiest Season, but by the climax of the movie, you will observe she honestly cares about her family and would pull out all the stops to ensure they are living their best lives. Once Harper and Sloane come out, Tipper confronts her husband Ted (Victor Garber) to ponder over how they may have been reaching for far-fetched perfection with his Mayor campaign. In the conclusion of the movie, Tipper opts for karate as she had conveyed to her husband. Perhaps she’s binged Cobra Kai. What do you think?

Kristen Stewart (left) and Mackenzie Davis (right). Image: PinkNews

Ted Becomes Mayor Without Selling His Family Out

Victor Garber, who is in real life a part of the gay community in Hollywood, plays Ted, Harper’s father. Though here he’s portraying a dad’s dad who is running for Mayor. Ted’s major aims are reputation and good impressions, but you can observe he’s got a little sweet corner in his heart too. At a few moments in the film I really wanted Abby to go up to him and ask for his blessing and things will be alright. But, seems like this family really needed to solve differences from the roots.

Ted’s plan of getting support from Ana Gasteyer’s character and impressing his guests seem to be failing after Harper and Sloane’s public fight. Once Tipper tells him about their dumb “perfect” ways, Ted slides out of it and accepts his family with open arms. Directly after, Harry Levin’s (Gasteyer) call pops up on his phone. He is in the thought of giving him leadway, but only if Harper keeps the secret about her being in a lesbian relationship. He does not avail the offer, and a year later he has become mayor anyway through other avenues. Yay!

John (Dan Levy) and Abby (Kristen Stewart) in a scene in Happiest Season. Image: Vulture

Riley Finally Gets Closure With Harper

Aubrey Plaza’s Riley character simply stands out in the Happiest Season as it comes as a surprise for the audience. Okay before you say it, we know Aubrey Plaza is already amazing, but she outshined herself in this romantic comedy in a way that she’s not always done for ensemble roles. Riley is Harper’s first girlfriend who astonishingly becomes part of the Christmas festivities, also including Harper’s ex-boyfriend Connor (Jake McDorman).

Aubrey Plaza as Riley in Happiest Season. Image: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

While Connor is clearly attempting to fit in, Riley has kept herself sidelined. When she gets a sense of Abby’s situation, the duo bond in town. Riley talks to Abby and tells her everything. He tells her about the mishap that occured between her and Harper back in the day when they were in a relationship. When their love letters came out in public view, Harper denied it and slid Riley under the bus. Riley has no intentions of revenge but he really wants to  help out Abby. By the time movie ends, Riley observes that Harper’s actions were not at all affected by her. They were all because of being uncomfortable with herself and around her family. We love closure! Oh and Connor? His character quite loses meaning by the end of the film.

John Definitely Killed A Fish, But He Becomes An Honorary Part Of The Family Too

The true hero of Happiest Season is Schitt Creek Dan Levy‘s John who has also created and produced Happiest Season. Initially, John’s role in the movie is to babysit Abby’s pets while she’s away at Harper’s place. However, he’s not really loyal to the job. By the middle of the story, clearly he’s totally killed one of their fishies and is rigorously looking for a replacement for her. He’s also a perfectionist at tracking, who decides to drive all the way to rescue Abby exactly at the right moment.

John is adamant to getting Abby to understand that not everyone who opens up has his story cut and dry. At the end of Happiest Season, we won’t see what John is doing in life . But, he afterwards involves with the family, going to Pride Day with them and for movies. It pleases our mind because as John says, since he had come out to his family, they completely disowned him.

Happiest Season is such a warm and light movie! What were your views about the ending? Tell us in the comment section below and stay tuned for more.

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Srishti Chopra
Srishti Chopra
Srishti is an engineering student who has an ardent passion for creating art and expressing things interestingly! She is currently in the second year of her engineering program and her aim is to gain maximum knowledge and skills from whatever she does.

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