A few weeks ago I came across an Autostraddle article where they were promoting a new Tegan and Sara song that would be in an LGBTQ+ (!!!!!) Christmas film. I didn’t need more. I delved right into the topic and got so excited that Kristen Stewart was going to star in a Christmas rom-com. Moreover, the director of the film is Clea DuVall, who we already saw in captivating lesbian roles in Veep, The Intervention, and But I’m a Cheerleader.
A little more than two weeks ago the trailer came out, to whose views I added at least 150. I started looking for how I could register for Hulu, where the film debuted, without an American zip code. I reached an ecstatic state once I looked at the cast list: Alison Brie from Glow and Mackenzie Davis, who played Yorki in THAT Black Mirror episode. And Aubrey Plaza. The day before the premier I was already burning with Christmas fever, but it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet.
Then the BIG DAY came! Wednesday, that is November 25 th , the hours just slowly ticked by, but finally the day turned to evening and in 1080p THE FILM appeared on my brand new TV.
At first, I was so happy that I didn’t even get what was happening in the first few minutes. Eventually, as I calmed down so did the events. Abby (KStew), who lives happily with Harper in their Pittsburgh home, isn’t really a fan of Christmas, but Harper invites her to her parents’ home for the holidays. Up until then, everything was ok. The only problem was that after nearly a year (!) together Harper’s parents still don’t know that Abby isn’t just Harper’s roommate. What could be the problem with this?
Naturally,everything. The whole Christmas turns into an awkward and tense drama full of misunderstandings where ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends (AUBREY PLAZA!), and the family subvert the small town’s Christmas preparations. Abby tries to handle the situation with complete calm. Kristen Stewart, in her laid-back style, plays the girlfriend pushed back into the closet and struggling for survival while the whole situation continues to escalate more and more. Harper’s family seems perfect on the surface, but it turns out that the three sisters didn’t have such a simple childhood.
Amid the drama, the film manages to stay humorous. Not all the jokes land right, but a lot do. In fact, not all the good jokes are seen in the preview, I laughed a lot at the film and was able to relate to a lot of things. Obviously, the rom-com genre doesn’t allow the conflicts to run very deep, but when Abby and John talk in one of the last scenes, it struck a chord. John’s monologue about coming out is not just relatable for us LMBTQ+ people, but, honestly, I hope that non-LMBTQ+ viewers take a piece of it home too.
Altogether, I liked the film. It absolutely reached the level of a good rom-com, and, even though it’s not Love Actually, it’s still a great watch during a family Christmas.
Translated by Amy Soto