Sometimes it feels like if you’ve seen one holiday movie, you’ve seen them all. A big city gal named Eve/Holly/Noelle is jaded and bitter and needs a small town guy to remind her about the magic of Christmas. Or Eve/Holly/Noelle makes a Christmas wish that comes true in unexpected ways. Whatever the actual plot, it’s guaranteed to have three things: zero-stakes drama, a happily ever after, and rampant heterosexuality.
And listen, they’re obviously doing something right. Or at least, something people are eating up. This year alone, between Hallmark and Lifetime, there are SEVENTY new holiday movies, and that’s not including at LEAST twenty more on other channels. No matter how cheesy the writing or high school play the sets or fake the snow, people are chugging holiday cheer like boozy eggnog until they’re numb. There are even mainstream holiday movies like Love, Actually that are widely beloved, its format of many couples’ stories eventually intertwined in some way borrowed time and time again. I remember the first time I saw Love, Actually being confused as to why all my (straight) friends loved it, because you hardly get to see enough of any one character to care about them, but as the years went on I accepted this movie as an unavoidable staple of the holiday season like that one Hershey Kisses commercial with the bells.
But this Christmas season, it’s not all about the straights anymore. Okay, sure, there are still almost 100 new heterosexual holiday movies this season alone, and our numbers pale in comparison but at least we have SOMETHING. One such movie this year is Let It Snow, a delightful little Love-Actually-style movie with teenagers featuring one queer couple. And another is the Tello original Season of Love.
Season of Love is another Love-Actually-style movie, but instead of just one, ALL of the duos are two women.
There’s Iris and Mardou, who open the movie, Iris in a wedding gown and Mardou in a tux, however it’s not their wedding. Iris is supposed to marry Mardou’s brother, but he skips town and Mardou is there to support her friend and try not to fall for her.
We also have Lou and Kenna, a clumsy woman who is opening a brewery and her neighbor who she hires to be a welder for the project. (Side note, Kenna is deaf and is played by a deaf actor, which I know should be a given and not a point to celebrate but unfortunately it is NOT always the case and I feel I should give credit where credit is due. Also, Kenna was easily my second favorite character in this movie and probably would have been my favorite if I wasn’t biased for reasons to be revealed.)
And then we have the reason I even knew about this movie in the first place: Sue and Janey. Sue is played by Dominique Provost-Chalkley aka Waverly Earp and it is at LEAST her fourth time giving us a queer character to root for. Sue is a budding musician with a smile that could melt snow and Janey is her formerly-long-distance girlfriend who tries to be supportive of her girlfriend with mixed success.
The movie has everything you could want from a cheesy holiday movie: mistletoe mishaps, zero-stakes drama, happily ever afters. To the movie’s credit, none of the stories are about coming out or really about being gay at all. It’s just a bunch of stories about a bunch of people, it just so happens they’re all queer.
Also, not everyone has this information on their Wikipedia or Twitter so I can’t give you exact numbers, but it seems to me that the majority of the people involved in this, on screen or behind the scenes, are queer, which I suppose is typical of a Tello creation, but it felt worth noting. No one couple is two white women, no queer people die, and no pairing is left out of the classic happily ever after.
I’m a big ol’ grinch when it comes to these types of holiday movies (and honestly any other highly romantic film), so I won’t lie to you: I did a lot of eye rolling during this movie. But I think that’s the point, right? It’s how I watch any Hallmark or Lifetime holiday movie, and at least this one had extremely gay outfits and pretty ladies kissing. I highly recommend watching it the way I did: with a lot of friends who are ready to laugh with you as you mock someone’s choice of passport storage or yell at the TV during poor decision making or groan at the inevitable mistletoe mishaps or put your hands on your face and smile til it hurts when Dominique’s little angel voice starts singing.
Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new tradition of queer holiday movies that aren’t tragic until we have a 100+ movie catalog of our own to choose from.