Paid in Puke S4E10.1 HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Happiest Season

On our (slightly late) Holiday Special, we’re talking about the controversial 2020 film Happiest Season, directed by Clea Duvall and written by Duvall and Mary Holland. It marks our 3rd Mackenzie Davis film. It also stars Kristen Stewart, Holland, Alison Brie, Mary Steenburgen, and Aubrey Plaza. We talk about how Abby should have left Harper for Riley (2/3 of us are Team Riley, and Baxter is a Harper apologist), the very unnecessary and perplexing shoplifting plot, Dan Levy’s pitch-perfect performance, and our complex personal relationships to the holiday season.

Happy Holidays to our beloved Paid in Puke listeners. We will return in Feb-ish with Series 5!

Film Review: Happiest Season

Talented multi-hyphenate Clea DuVall (The Intervention) has achieved nothing short of a miracle with her sophomore feature, Happiest Season. She has made me love a Christmas movie. If you know me, you understand just how grand a feat this is. I have literally said “Bah, Humbug” out loud on more than one occasion. I’m not a full-on Grinch, mind you. Because I have kids, I’ve had to find things to love about the holidays. But you’ll never catch me watching a Hallmark holiday movie marathon. I think A Christmas Story and It’s A Wonderful Life are outdated and overrated. I’d rather roast my own chestnuts than watch Love, Actually or A Christmas Prince. On the other hand, if you told me someone was playing a marathon of Clea DuVall’s queer holiday rom-com, Happiest Season, I would be there with bells on.

Happiest Season follows Abby (Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis, Tully), a fun, co-habitating couple who are nevertheless fresh enough in their relationship that they have unspoken plans to spend the looming holidays apart. Abby’s parents died when she was 19 and she’s pretty much ignored Christmas ever since. Harper’s parents live in an idyllic town 50 miles outside Pittsburg where her conservative family celebrates the holidays in a major way. In the heat of a romantic moment, Harper invites Abby to come home with her, only to backpedal the next morning. But Abby remains so moved by the invitation that she insists on following through…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

SIFF Review: The Pistol Shrimps

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It’s no secret that women’s sports are considered second tier if not downright illegitimate. Many Seattleites, for example, are still bitter about losing our SuperSonics to Oklahoma. But they’re not so hard up for basketball that they’d consider attending the games of our WNBA team, the Seattle Storm. Giving some long overdue and well-deserved attention to female athletes is just one of the great aspects of Brent Hodge’s latest documentary, The Pistol Shrimps.

Adult recreational sports leagues are all the rage, but usually they’re for more, well, recreational sports, such as dodge ball and mini golf. The Pistol Shrimps (named for a sea creature who uses one giant claw to paralyze its enemies with a super sonic snap) are part of a women’s recreational basketball league in L.A. Hodge’s (I Am Chris Farley) third film follows this steadfast team of underdogs, comprised of women from various sectors of the entertainment industry, as they, for the first time, face the very real possibility of winning the division. It outlines their origins, including their floundering early seasons, and profiles select team members, interspersing their background with the story of the team’s journey to the 2015 league championship…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!