The Clea DuVall-directed comedy will skip theaters in the U.S. for a streaming debut.

By Joey Nolfi
October 20, 2020 at 05:14 PM EDT
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Credit: Lacey Terrell/TriStar Pictures

Deck the halls for Happiest Season's digital debut.

The Clea DuVall-directed, Kristen Stewart-starring queer holiday romantic comedy — originally set to hit theaters Nov. 25 via Sony/TriStar — will now premiere exclusively on Hulu one day before Thanksgiving.

Sony, Entertainment One, and Hulu made the announcement Tuesday, indicating that a potential theatrical release outside the United States is still on the table if theaters in international territories remain open throughout the winter.

Happiest Season follows a young lesbian couple, Abby (Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), as they travel to the latter's family Christmas gathering on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. On the way, Harper informs Abby that she has yet to come out to her conservative relatives — including her father, a mayoral candidate (Victor Garber), his nosy wife (Mary Steenburgen), and Harper's sisters (Alison Brie, co-writer and DuVall's Veep colleague Mary Holland). Emmy-winning Schitt's Creek actor-creator Dan Levy co-stars as a friend of Abby's, with Ana Gasteyer and Aubrey Plaza playing supporting parts as well.

“I am beyond grateful to Hulu for providing an incredible home for Happiest Season, and I’ll forever cherish my journey with Sony Pictures, who felt just as strongly as I did about the value of bringing the first major LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com to audiences,” DuVall, who wrote and directed the film, said in a press release. “I’m hopeful that this universal story, told through a unique lens, will join the long list of holiday classics that continue to bring all of us so much joy and happiness.”

Added TriStar president Nicole Brown: “This holiday season — more than any other — we could all use a little happiness. It was essential to Sony Pictures and to the filmmakers that Clea’s marvelous and fresh holiday-themed romantic comedy come out when the lights are on the trees. We are excited that Hulu is geared up to make this happen in the U.S. and grateful that they love the movie as much as we do.”

Speaking to EW earlier this year on the set of the film, Stewart said she "grew up watching and loving conventional movies" like Happiest Season, but that DuVall's perspective brought a distinct edge to the project.

"Seeing [marginalized] people loving each other in the middle of something that's so standardized was really exhilarating and freeing," the Charlie's Angels star explained. "There's a lack of confusion and generalization Clea brings [as a queer woman]. I want people to see that two girls in love is just so fun."

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