One fine day just prior to Christmas, Pittsburgh-based journo Harper (Mackenzie Davis) takes her girlfriend, Abby (Kristen Stewart) to her picturesque hometown to spend the holidays with her family. For her part, Abby aims to put a ring on it, even going so far as planning to ask Harper’s father, Ted (Victor Garber), for his blessing, much to the disgust of her gay BFF, John (Dan Levy). There’s a spanner in the works, though; Harper hasn’t actually come out to her family yet, so it’s separate bedrooms, improvised cover stories, countless close calls, and the inevitable big emotional climax. Call it A Christmas Closet, if you like…

Happiest Season is great. What’s interesting is how easily it could not have been. Holiday-themed films tend to trend to the mawkish, and slapping a queer romance on top of a bog-standard “meet the family” comedy of manners is no guarantee of success (representation is important, but it’s not a synonym for quality). Happily, wonderfully even, Happiest Season not only deftly avoids the obvious pitfalls of the Christmas rom-com genre, it delivers the requisite tropes with style, wit, and warmth.

Read more at Access Reel

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