Happiest Season (2020)

Happiest Season
Director: Clea DuVall
Writer: Clea DuVall, Mary Holland
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Mary Holland, Dan Levy, Burl Moseley, Aubrey Plaza
Seen on: 5.8.2022

Content Note: (critical treatment of) homomisia

Plot:
Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis) have been dating for a while and are still very much in love. In an unguarded moment, Harper invites Abby back home to her family for Christmas. Abby, who doesn’t have a family anymore, happily accepts. When they’re on the road already, Harper comes clean: she hasn’t acutally come out to her parents yet and she would like Abby to pretend that they are just roommates. Abby reluctantly agrees, but this secret and the emotional toll it takes aren’t easy to stomach.

Happiest Season is a typical holiday movie except for the fact that it’s about a sapphic couple. It is exceptional in the way it just refuses to be anything more than that: family chaos, a bit of drama and a happy end. While I do like it when films have something to say, I do think that there is a lack of queer films that aren’t “issue films”, so this was a really good thing in this case.

The film poster with the main characters arranged as if in a family portrait that hangs crookedly over a fire place with Christmas decorations.
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Unicorn Store (2017)

Unicorn Store
Director: Brie Larson
Writer: Samantha McIntyre
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie, Hamish Linklater, Martha MacIsaac, Karan Soni, Annaleigh Ashford, Ryan Hansen, Mary Holland
Seen on: 13.4.2019
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Plot:
Kit (Brie Larson) is in her 20s, but would rather dream of rainbows and unicorns than grow up. She thought she could do just that in art school, but when she gets kicked out there, she has to return home to her parents (Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford) and figure out what other options she may have. While she is doing that, she starts working as a temp in a rather boring office. Just when Kit is about to give up on her dreams, she meets the Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson). He promises to fulfill her biggest wish: should she prove to be worthy, she can have a unicorn all of her own.

Unicorn Store is very twee – with that plot it would be hard to be anything else. Your appreciation of it will probably depend on how much you like this tweeness. I quite liked and enjoyed the film, although I’m not exactly falling over myself in enthusiasm.

The film poster showing Kit (Brie Larson) lying on grass in a rainbow sweater covered in colorful paint.
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