Have you seen “Happiest Season” yet? The new rom-com is taking the internet by storm — both for the better and for the worse. Some viewers absolutely adored the film, while others criticized it for a few of its plot points. But whether you loved it or hated it, “Happiest Season” is delivering much-needed representation for lesbian couples, which isn’t surprising considering it was written by an actual lesbian (Clea Duvall!) who drew from real experiences.
Clea DuVall, a proud lesbian known for her performances in cult classics like “But I’m A Cheerleader” and “Veep,” spoke with Reuters on why this movie was so important for her to make. The writer-director-actor told the publication that her motivation came from the fact that she had “never really seen [her] experience represented” in holiday movies, despite her love for them.
“In my lifetime I’ve never seen a movie like this be given the platform that this film has,” DuVall told Reuters. “To see it embraced so much from everyone, not only the LGBTQ community, but just general audiences as well,” she said “really shows streamers and studios and networks that creating content like this is something that audiences are hungry to see.”
Another major aspect of co-writing and directing the film, she told Reuters, was that her own experiences as an LGBTQ+ woman inspired the plot. That experience also played a part in the casting of Daniel Levy (Emmy Award-winning writer-director-creator of “Schitt’s Creek”). Levy plays John, the best friend to Kristen Stewart’s character, Abby. DuVall knew she wanted to give Abby support from another gay character, a choice that was inspired by the support she felt from the LGBTQ+ community over the course of her career.
“So often I’m the only queer person on a set,” she said. “If there is another queer person there, I find we’re just drawn to each other like magnets, because there’s a shorthand there, there’s a comfort there.”
And of course, like many things in the movie, the plot was lightly inspired by DuVall’s own coming out on Christmas Day. Additionally, like Abby in the film, DuVall also spent a lot of time celebrating holidays with other families. It was an experience that shaped her, and one she wanted to share.
“Being closeted is something that’s a very painful experience, and it takes a lot of strength to break out of that,” she said. “I really wanted to tell that story.”
Since debuting on Hulu on November 25, “Happiest Season” has amassed a record-breaking amount of views for the streaming service.