In Harper’s absence, Abby begins dating local hot gay Riley (Aubrey Plaza), who reveals that Harper hasn’t shared their entire relationship story: Yes, Harper and Riley secretly (at the request of Harper) went out in high school, but when someone found out, Harper threw Riley to the wolves and said Riley was a lesbian who wouldn’t leave her alone, transiently ruining her life. Yes, just a super normal thing that any good normal person would do – certainly not a signifier of the mischievous and unworthy Harper character (sorry! She is!)
If only The happiest season Centered around Riley and her pheromones rather than Harper and her wig, the movie would have been a lot less painful and a lot more rewarding.
But that’s not about H * rper. This is a love letter to Riley, who as anyone who has watched this romantic comedy surely knows, Abby should have been done with it. Aubrey Plaza’s charisma as a power-bitch lesbian doctor with a mouthful of sardonic humor is so powerful that while she doesn’t do anything objectively sexual, I’ve never been so overwhelmed by the sexual energy of her. ‘a character in my little gay life. And I’m not alone – Lesbian Twitter is booming. The whole timeline is exciting for Riley. Plus, Riley had real chemistry with Abby and things in common! They both attended prestigious universities, they’re both outgoing and comfortable with themselves, and they both wear jaw-dropping costumes. Their chemistry comes to a head when Riley takes Abby to a gay bar for a drink. They are watching a drag show and Riley helps Abby sing when the queens put her in the spotlight and embarrass her. My heart slammed into my rib cage like an iron fist and screamed, “KISS SOFTLY !!!” But then Harper texts Abby, and Abby meets her with her high school friends (and her ex-boyfriend) at a bar – you know, those places where a man you want to light a fire forces you to take a picture. for no reason other than to oppress you – and I growled. The choice seemed clear to me: a life of drag queens, safe spaces and shared booths with Aubrey Plaza, or a life of straight bars, creepy white families and code-changing with Mackenzie Davis – who is usually very hot but that was done dirty with an ill-fitting wig (sorry !! She was !!!).
Look, overall I liked the movie many. I like queering of a straight form. But in this case, I don’t think the shape in question was really weird. Their called it a “run-of-the-mill story.” BuzzFeed said it was a “quest for assimilation in heterosexual families”. If only The happiest season Centered around Riley and her pheromones rather than Harper and her wig, the movie would have been a lot less painful and a lot more rewarding. I think we need a sequel featuring Aubrey Plaza, in all her lesbian sex potency, coming home for Hanukkah and just treating a girl so good, man. Seriously, I would watch an extremely silent 2 hour livestream of Riley and his girlfriend eating snacks and talking. It would be so much sexier and more satisfying than Abby and Harper to get in – sorry I just gagged. Abby and Harper get engaged – haaaaugh – Abby and Harper get engaged.
In one interview, Plaza said of her role, “I hope people walk away from the movie and they’re disappointed that Kristen Stewart wasn’t done with my character, and they like, riot in the streets about it. All I’m saying is this: We, the Queer Women’s Alliance Against Toxic Lesbianism, must do the bare minimum to honor Riley and literally riot in the streets. Riley Hive: We’re driving at dawn. Take all the feelings of injustice you got in your stomach from the streaming The happiest season and show Ms. Plaza how much you care… by donating to GoFundMe and funding my 600 page fanfiction manifesto. I finally found my hill to die on, and it’s Aubrey Plaza at a stand in a gay bar.