Pop Culture Fix: Clea DuVall Doesn’t Think You’d Leave Your Longterm Girlfriend Either, Even For Aubrey Plaza

It’s your Monday Pop Culture Fix, you brilliant and glorious weirdos! 

+ It’s a record year for LGBTQ representation in holiday movies.

+ Speaking of which, Clea DuVall says: “You don’t go through a hard couple of days after a long period of time, meet a stranger, and cut and run. Even if that person is Aubrey Plaza.”

+ Speaking of which, Every Aubrey Plaza role, ranked by how badly she wants to kill you.

+ A history of Black women in James Bond movies.

+ Oh Cruel Intentions, you made so many ’90s babes gay.

+ Netflix’s Big Mouth season four makes up for past queer missteps in a rollicking return to form.

+ Like me and like you, Mandip Gill would love to see a Yaz/Thirteen romance on Doctor Who.

+ Real Housewives of Orange County’s Braunwyn Windham-Burk comes out as a lesbian.

+ And now the full trailer for the final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

+ Lena Waithe will produce A.V. Rockwell’s directorial debut, A Thousand and One.

+ Ava DuVernay is developing the first non-Berlanti CW superhero show based on the DC comic book character Naomi.

+ Women of color are the most underrepresented group of people on TV.

+ Nonbinary actor Jesse James Keitel on their groundbreaking Big Sky role.

+ I love her I love her I cannot wait for Batwoman season two!

+ Hollywood is preparing to sacrifice movie theaters.

+ Queen Latifah’s Equalizer will land on CBS directly after the Super Bowl.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. I’m so…sooooooooooooooooooooo…hoping for Yaz and Thirteen to become canon. We’ve already seen Yaz risk everything for the Doctor.

    Also, that Aubrey Plaza list doesn’t have Lenny Busker, so I declare it invalid.

  2. I think what Clea doesn’t understand is that we were given no reason to root for Abby & Harper. Why were they in love? Were they in love? Certainly there’s no reason to leave your GF for Aubrey Plaza when you’re in a committed, loving relationship.

    But that’s not what was shown.

    • Exactly! It felt like *most* of the movie Harper was being either not that great or actively terrible.

      On the other hand I didn’t think Abby should have left Harper *for* Riley, and it truly didn’t feel like that was happening. Abby was prepared to walk away from the relationship and just be single. Harper’s lil speech to get Abby back was just not convincing to me considering the immense amount of crap Abby dealt with.

      • Harper was actively terrible, & I thought Abbey had more chemistry with Riley. They also seemed to be more on the same level, not just in being out. I thought they connected more. But yes, Abbey should have been single if the alternative was Harper.

        I think the acting was good though. Clea is wrong to think critiques are just because people like Aubrey Plaza. Maybe I’m a bad lesbian, but I really don’t know much of her or Kristen Stewart, but I loved Mackenzie Davis in San Junipero! So I think she acted the part of a crappy girlfriend really well!

    I don’t know into which category of “Vapid Fluff” this should go, but Ashley Fiolek got married to her longtime girlfriend Lindsey Bailey this last weekend.

    For the non-motorsport geeks, Ashley is a four time Women’s Motocross champion [ten years ago, but still], and multiple X-Games gold medal winner. She is ALSO profoundly deaf [her description], but raced with no adaptive equipment on the bike. She now works for Husquevarna as their Woman’s Outreach Ambassador, she runs Riding Clinics for Women and Girls, or kids in general.

  4. There is a difference between a hard couple of days and the lying, betrayal, and abandonment displayed by Harper in this movie. Also, if I remember correctly, she lied about the coming out to her parents thing before these hard couple of days, and kept up the lie for awhile.

    That said, this kind of behavior from Harper does not HAVE to be a dealbreaker if she is willing to work her ass off in therapy. It all would have worked better if they gave us reasons to root for Harper and Abby, and if Harper’s parking lot speech included her saying she was going to get a therapist to work on her developmental trauma and would also go to couples therapy or whatever she needed to do to earn back Abby’s trust.

    • Yep. My main issue with this movie was that almost all the good stuff that would have allowed us to truly buy into the “Christmas miracle” ending – more positive backstory, more growth, more focus on the next steps of putting words into meaningful action – did not appear in the scenes we were shown. We are supposed to just take their word for it that those things were happening in the background somewhere.

    • Yeah, I completely agree with your first paragraph! Harper did a lot of lying, betraying, and abandoning Abbey. And most of it didn’t even have to do with her not being out!
      I think she had a lot of other unrelated problems. She was a terrible host!

      Honestly, the climactic scene in which Harper yells-lies that Abbey isn’t her girlfriend, I found less upsetting & pivotal than all the little insults done beforehand. Its one thing to be in the closet, & another to lie (for months?) to your girlfriend about it, and stay out drinking with your ex, when your girlfriend is clearly uncomfortable. I think she treated her terribly, unrelated to her being in the closet.

  5. I just wish they gave us more on Harper’s character to see why Abby stuck it out after all that shit. I would have left. I just don’t see why Harper was worth it. I really don’t. She was absolutely shitty. Although, her sister outing her was tragic. My aunt outed me to my mom (and she said she didn’t accept me) so I know how that feels. I love Jane! I’d love a movie about her lol

    I hate to disagree with Clea but Abby getting back together with Harper is fucking bullshit. Harper wasn’t worth it to me. If I knew her a bit better, I’d understand the sacrifice but all that lying and not telling Abby important things and staying out all night with a guy then fucking treating Abby like a stranger the next morning. No, fuck that shit. I would have fucking left her ass, blasted Tegan and Sara’s music, Riley’s phone number in my pocket and gay male friend in the passenger seat. Fuck Harper!

    • Yes! I definitely ended up wishing Abbey got together with Riley because she seemed decent to Abbey, as well as a decent person.
      I actually sympathized with Harper about not being out. But only that! Everything else was unacceptable. She takes her to her hometown for I think 5 days, and was left to do gift shopping alone, figure out her own meals when she was uninvited to dinner with the parents because they thought she was a shoplifter (!), had to find her own way back to her girlfriend’s parents’ house because she wanted to stay out drinking with friends from high school. Harper stays out late with her ex boyfriend, then gets upset with Abbey. She apparently lied to Harper about coming out, and kept lying about it until they were almost at the house, never apologized to Riley for how she treated her, and abandoned Harper at every party they went to.
      I could totally forgive the not being out, but everything else… there was a lot more going on than just being closeted.

      • This !
        Not being out and not feeling able to tell your family you’re gay is one thing, but the way she treats Abbey isn’t how you treat even a friend or a roommate. Harper’s behavior was crappy, regardless of the status of her relationship with Abbey.

        • Yes! And then she has the nerve to treat Abby as if she’s overreacting the next morning after hanging out with her ex boyfriend. Then gets upset because Abby’s hanging out with Riley. Like what the fuck!

  6. Thanks for sharing that interview with Clea! While I didn’t agree with *everything* in the movie, I did in fact thoroughly enjoy it and appreciated reading Clea’s responses to some of the critics. Especially loved her description of why she featured Riley and John as queer friends–that was one of the things that really stood out to me and that I loved the most on my second viewing.

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