Happiest Season: Film Review

Happiest Season

Feeling in the mood for a fun, lovely, delightful Christmas movie? Then look no further than Happiest Season.

Clea DuVall‘s film stars Kristen Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as her girlfriend Harper, who invites her home for the holidays for the first time. What seems like a big step in their relationship is soon crushed with the revelation that Harper is still in the closet and she needs them to pretend to be straight roommates during the five-day visit.

This is the first major studio-backed same-sex festive film, as Christmas movies are largely dominated by white straight characters. It shouldn’t be such a historic, pivotal moment for representation in 2020 but it is – and what makes it even more exciting is that it is a traditional, conventional romcom – it has all the hallmarks of ‘meet the parents’ and ‘going home for the holidays’ films – but it just happens to star a lesbian couple.

Romantic comedy is a genre I’ve always embraced but the heyday of quality ones seems to have been and gone. Happiest Season gives me hope because it’s well-written, there are great characters and relationships, and the ensemble cast is terrific. However, it does suffer from the chronic romcom issue of being predictable, but that’s fine because we came here for warm fuzzy festive feelings. Also, there weren’t enough laugh-out-loud moments. It was always entertaining, captivating, and amusing (and occasionally moving) but I really wanted a hearty laugh and didn’t get that. It’s also tied up a bit too neatly at the end but I can forgive that too.

The cast is the film’s biggest strength. I love Stewart in absolutely everything so me enjoying her performance here is a given, but she brought great warmth and heart to the role and I liked seeing her in this type of film. She had convincing chemistry with Davis, an actress I adore.

The stars of the show are in the supporting cast though – first up is Dan Levy as Abby’s gay best friend John. He was fabulous, so much fun, made me smile the most, and has the most moving moment in the movie – his monologue is powerful and I imagine gay viewers will relate to it very well. Secondly, I loved Aubrey Plaza as Riley, who has a history with Harper. She’s a lifeline for Abby when she’s in need of normality outside of the highly-strung, perfectionist family and I liked that friendship. Then there’s Mary Holland, who co-wrote the movie with DuVall. She shines as the oddball weirdo Jane, who just wants to be noticed as the constantly overlooked middle child. The ensemble cast is rounded out by Alison Brie as the bitchy sister Sloane (we’ve seen Brie in this role before), and Mary Steenburgen and Victor Garber as Harper’s parents.

Happiest Season isn’t perfect but it gave me pretty much what I wanted from a festive romcom this year. It’s an absolute delight and I’ll happily watch it again.

Released on digital platforms such as Amazon Prime and iTunes on Thursday 26th November. Available on Sky Cinema and Now TV from 18 December.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Lego Movie 2: Film Review

I was a huge fan of 2014’s The Lego Movie – it was hilarious and so so clever – but that years ago now and we’ve had The Lego Batman Movie since then and I didn’t love that one as much (and I didn’t even watch the Ninjago one). So I had no idea what to expect from the second outing – full title The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – so I’m pleased to report that it is just as funny and smart as the first.

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Golden Globes 2018: Best & Worst Dressed

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that the actors and actresses attending the Golden Globes last night wore black to support the Time’s Up movement. Here are some of my favourite looks of the night.

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The Disaster Artist: Film Review

James Franco hadn’t been in much memorable stuff since 127 Hours in 2010, but he changed that around this year with both TV series The Deuce and The Disaster Artist. His performance in the movie, which he also directed and produced, is his best in years and he definitely deserves a Golden Globe nomination (an Oscar is too far).

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How to be Single: Film Review

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The romcom genre has been saved! Okay, so I probably won’t go QUITE that far but How to Be Single really feels like the best romantic comedy I have seen in a long time as it manages to avoid some of the formulaic and predictable plot points we have come to expect.

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People’s Choice Awards: Best & Worst Dressed

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Yay! Awards season is officially back. It all kicked off last night with the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles. You can find out all the winners here – but let’s be honest, these things are just as much about the red carpet style!

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Sleeping with Other People: Film Review

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Romantic comedies have a bad rep but I personally love them and Sleeping with Other People is no exception. It is smart, it is funny and Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie are delightful to watch.

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