"Representation is extremely important to our community, and as such, it would be wise to say instead of accepting less that we simply deserve better than this"
Representation is somewhat of a sensitive topic for the queer community, and rightly so. For a long, long time, many members of the LGBTQ+ community, like myself, have fought tooth and nail to be seen throughout the media, whether it be through characters that are like them or as the Producers and Directors of the media itself.
The Producers, Director Christin Baker of queer female-run streaming service and Production Company; Tello Films decided to take on one genre of film that had not, up until now, featured queer characters on a primary level; the iconic holiday movie genre.
And so Season of Love was born; a true, Hallmark-style holiday movie, where every wonderful Christmas love story is between LGBTQ+ characters. A lot was expected of the feature from the queer community, both due to its promise of something just for them and one of its main stars. Dominique Provost-Chalkley, of Wynonna Earp fame, was part of one of the three stories focused on during the movie, which are all intertwined a-la Love Actually.
Chalkley plays Sue, an aspiring musician who alternates her time between playing backup guitar in a band and taking care of her sick mother, trying to fit in seeing her girlfriend Janey (Janelle Marie) over the holiday season. Then, we have Lou (Jessica Clark), the owner of a brewery which is conveniently set to open on Christmas Eve, and her neighbour Kenna (Sandra Mae Frank), who appears as the classic, seemingly terrible upstairs neighbour but has a little more to her story. Finally, there is Iris (Emily Goss), who has just been ditched on her wedding day, and for some earthly plot-point related reason, the groom's sister Mardou (Laur Allen) is the one that endeavours to help her through her grief.
This feature had so much potential; a cast led by one of the juggernauts of a fan favourite show bolstered by a holiday that could make even the most Scrooge type figures smile. It should at least be able to hold one's attention for a good hour into the film. However, the unfortunate, glaring problem with this movie, that overshadows anything else is the most jarring editing imaginable; most scenes would end with a quick fade out on both the picture and the music and pause which is entirely unnecessary, followed by an overpowering score accompanying the opening of the next scene. One could forgive maybe one or two of these nearer the end of the movie, perhaps, but realistically, it begins to look unprofessional after more than four. The jarring transitions, quite simply, made the movie unpleasant to watch.
Some of the acting does salvage the film; Chalkley does well with the script she's been given, but there are one or two lines that even she cannot deliver without them sounding, frankly, ridiculous. Another MVP is Laur Allen, whose cool, collected and accomplished Mardou stands out as one of the more likeable characters of the movie, and a convincing actress in general. The story of Lou and Kenna is a standout moment script-wise, with one of the more developed backstories. The casting, overall, is satisfactory, however one glaringly strange choice was the casting of Janey's parents; both seemed much too young to be parents to a woman in her early to mid 20s. When the first scene including Janey's mum Carolyn began, one would genuinely think that she was Janey's roommate, not her mother.
Again, the movie had so much potential. Sitting through the entire feature was slightly difficult, but one hoped that at some time it would pick up. There are a couple of good points near the end of the film, but they unfortunately do not make up for the poor editing and questionable script choices. The idea behind the movie is stellar, but the execution was sadly not so. Representation is extremely important to our community, and as such, it would be wise to say instead of accepting less that we simply deserve better than this.