Appalling 'Happiest Season' Ending For Kristen Stewarts' First Rom-Com Character

Rose Burke

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Hulu's new romantic comedy misses the mark with its unlovable characters and forced happy ending. Starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, and Alison Brie, Happiest Season follows a lesbian couple as they work through the qualms of spending their first Christmas together.

Abby (played by Stewart) agrees to spend the holidays with Harper (played by Davis) and her family, only to be told last minute that Harper hasn't come out to her family yet. With her father (played by Victor Garber) running for mayor, she doesn't think it's the best time to do so until after Christmas. Despite having to shove her sexuality back into the closet, Abby reluctantly agrees to stay with Harper's family under the guise of Harper's straight orphaned roommate.

Unfortunately, Harper's family members seem to have all been manufactured on another planet and have absolutely no social awareness or depth. In fact, the only member of the family with any likable characteristics is Harper's quirky sister Jane, played by the film's co-writer Mary Holland. Not only are they the worst, but they bring out the worst in Harper who fails to make Abby feel welcome in her family home during her stay.

All of this leads up to one of the most appalling endings for an onscreen character outside of a Hallmark movie. Here's the trailer:

Kristen Stweart's first rom-com character deserved so much better! Here's why:

Mackenzie Davis' Character Is The Worst

If asking her girlfriend to hide their relationship and deny her sexuality was the worst thing Harper (played by Davis) had done in the film, then the ending may not have felt so forced. But that's not how events unfolded. Instead, Harper's true self was slowly revealed, one that should have sent Abby running for the hills. While these red flags were obvious to viewers, Abby seemed to be completely oblivious to what kind of person she was in a relationship with.

Red Flag #1: Harper's Lies

While at first it seems like Harper's mother Tipper (played by Mary Steenburgen) is pushing her daughter's ex-boyfriend Connor (played by Jake McDorman) onto her by inviting him to tag along to their holiday events, we soon learn that Harper enjoys his attention. We also learn that she oddly kept him out of a story she told Abby when Tipper tells the same one.

When Harper got sick with chickenpox on a family vacation, she wound up giving it to Connor and the two spent their vacation together in the cabin. Abby later confronts Harper about why she didn't mention Connor when she was telling her version of the chickenpox story and she simply says, "I don’t know, he didn’t seem like an important part of the story."

Red Flag #2: Harper's Competitive Nature

When Harper's other sister arrives the next day with her husband and two kids, we see a whole new side to her. Harper and Sloane (played by Alison Brie) have a highly competitive relationship. Throughout the film we see them competing for attention and love, neither of which the two seem to get enough of.

While their combative nature is humorous at first, it ultimately becomes clear that their parents have screwed them up beyond repair. Their interactions would have any reasonable person second-guessing their relationship with Harper, yet Abby decides to stick around.

Red Flag #3: Harper Lets Her Family Humiliate Abby

Throughout the movie, Harper's family is rude and dismissive towards Abby. Tipper especially loves to humiliate the woman by pointing out whenever she can that Abby was an orphan, despite the fact that she was actually an adult when her parents passed away.

When they aren't constantly reminding Abby of her dead parents, they're either quickly dismissing what she says or ignoring her completely. Harper pipes in with the occasional single-word scolding, but never truly defends her girlfriend. As time passes, she ends up treating Abby just as badly as her horrendous family.

Red Flag #4: Harper Ditches Abby At A Party

When Ted has the opportunity to discuss his campaign with a potential donor, he drags his entire family to a party. As his prized child, he wants to show off Harper, which keeps her occupied most of the night. Abby is left at the party for most of the evening by herself, aside from the small interactions she has with Jane, Sloane, and Harper's ex-girlfriend Riley (played by Aubrey Plaza).

Harper only comes to find Abby when she needs a break from her father's campaigning and doesn't even bother to check in on how her girlfriend is doing. The two barely get a moment alone before Connor comes along to whisk his former flame away while Abby gets stuck chatting with two of Harper's friends from high school.

Red Flag #5: Harper Forgets To Include Abby In Family Tradition

After several days with Harper's family, the topic of white elephant gifts comes up. Similar to grab bag, this is a game their family plays every year, however, Harper forgot to tell Abby about it before they came.

This revelation leads to Abby going to the mall with Sloane, while Harper helps her dad with his speech. The more time Abby spends at her girlfriend's childhood home, the less time they seem to be spending together.

Red Flag #6: Harper Doesn't Stay Home With Abby

While at the mall, one of Sloane's kids slips a necklace into Abby's bag. As she leaves the store, the theft alarm goes off and she is seized by a few mall cops. Unfortunately for Abby, one of Ted's associates was there to witness the entire incident and doesn't feel she should attend that evening's political affair.

While Harper half-heartedly attempts to defend Abby to her parents, it's decided that Abby will not be attending dinner that night. Instead of staying with her girlfriend, however, Harper goes with her family, leaving Abby to dine alone.

Red Flag #7: Harper Outed Riley

While out on her own, Abby runs into Riley and the two end up getting drinks. Riley reveals that when she and Harper dated in high school, a friend of theirs found a note she had written. The note outed them as a couple, and instead of owning up to being gay, Harper threw Riley under the bus.

Harper told the friend who found the note that Riley was gay and obsessed with her, denying being gay herself. The rumors quickly spread around the school, making Riley's high school experience quite miserable.

Red Flag #8: Harper Ditches Abby For Connor

After drinks with Riley, Abby meets up with Harper at a bar where she is getting drunk with her high school friends and Connor. Not only does she not both to make Abby feel included in their clique, but when Abby is ready to go home, Harper decides to stay. She ends up chatting with Connor at the bar until the wee hours of the morning.

Abby texts her girlfriend to make sure she's okay but doesn't get a reply. The next morning when Abby goes to check on a clearly hungover Harper in bed, she gets annoyed with Abby and asks for space.

Red Flag #9: Harper And Sloane Throw Down

At the Christmas party, Sloane walks in on Harper and Abby kissing. She wants to tell the whole family that her sister had been lying about her roommate in front of party guests that included her father's important political connections.

During their argument, it's also revealed that Sloane and her husband are getting divorced. In a race to the main party room to declare each other's secrets, Harper and Sloane end up physically fighting one another as Abby looks on.

Red Flag #10: Harper Denies Being Gay (Again)

Surprise, surprise! Sloane ends up revealing that Harper is gay in front of everyone. And just like she did in high school, she denies it. Harper declares that she's not a lesbian and that Sloane is the one with the secret.

Finally, Abby has had enough of her girlfriend's disregard for her emotional wellbeing and walks out.

The Big Ending

This rom-com gets serious pretty quickly as the last 30 minutes leave the humorous tone of the first half far behind. Without even as much as a grand gesture, Harper's basic apology is enough to win Abby back and cue the happily ever after soundtrack. Not only is it incredibly unrealistic, but it does a disservice to how gay relationships are portrayed in the media.

Harper as a character was incredibly toxic. She had zero redeeming qualities. Why would Kristen Stewart's character still want to spend her life with her after all that? Ending the movie with her crawling back into this unhealthy relationship sends the wrong message to the LGBTQ community.

Final Thoughts

Many viewers have been disappointed by the movie's ending, and wish they'd seen Abby end up with Riley. There's no doubting that the two had some chemistry, and giving Aubrey Plaza some more screen time could have been what this film needed to save it.

Another big name they didn't utilize was Dan Levy who played Abby's confidant throughout the movie. Despite using Levy's Schitt's Creek success to promote the film, he was barely in it! It goes without saying that a movie starring two gay characters is a huge step in the right direction for the entertainment industry, but Kristen Stewart's character deserved a much better ending.

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