Every Monday in December we’re shining a spotlight on a gay-themed guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit! Keep checking in for more Holiday Highlights. This week’s selection is Happy Holidays.
A fantastic comedic ensemble cast from stage, screen and television come together in a black and white indie comedy about friendship, the holidays… and religious pluralism. An Atheist, a Catholic and a Jew walk into a bar… What starts as a punchline blooms into Happy Holidays, a comedy about friendship, family and faith.
Three childhood friends unexpectedly reunite in their New England hometown the week before Christmas. Now in their mid-thirties, it’s the first time Patrick, Alden and Kirby (Paul Hungerford, John B. Crye and Thomas Rhoads) have been in the same zip code since their high school graduation. Each of them is at a different crossroads in his life and facing difficult hurdles. They try to pick up where they left off, a simpler time – before obligations, politics, agendas – but has life taken them too far to make that possible?
Alden is a recent convert to Judaism. He currently lives in Chicago, but is constantly on the move. Alden has major commitment issues. Kirby is a staunch Catholic, who uses his faith to justify his moral lapses. Kirby is in town from Baltimore, where he lives with his wife and kids. And Patrick still lives in his parents’ house in Connecticut (which he purchased from them; they live in Maine.)
A self-proclaimed Atheist, Patrick is also one of the only openly gay men in town. Patrick’s parents, coincidentally, have major issues with the fact that he’s gay (or so he thinks…). The story really centers on Patrick, whose life is becoming more and more complicated, especially around the holidays. Not only is he dealing with his parents’ lack of acceptance for his lifestyle (or his own perception of their lack of acceptance), but he is also trying to figure out where his relationship stands with his partner, Kevin. Should he stay with Kevin? Should he continue living in his parents’ house? What does he want to do with his life? Patrick conveniently puts these issues on hold while he attempts to help his friends with their problems.
Alden arrives a day before Christmas Eve. He is running from his longtime girlfriend who has just proposed to him. Kirby arrives the same day, but he’s in town for his estranged father’s funeral. Patrick and his friends spend the next forty-eight hours trying to relive the past. In doing so, they ultimately discover that the past isn’t exactly as they remembered. They literally dig up old memories in the form of a time capsule, and with the help of a bottle of Patrick’s uncle’s wine, an old copy of TV Guide, and the effervescent music of Billy Ocean, the guys are transported back to the 1980s. But, the reality of the present is more powerful than any fond recollection of the past. Finding themselves stuck in the present, they must come to terms with who they are now, not only as friends, but also as adults.
Happy Holidays is a story about perception, personal beliefs, and in the end, acceptance. It’s funny, thought provoking, and moving, but also poignant, and at times, hilarious. The holidays will never be the same!
Check out the trailer below and click here to pick up your copy of the film!