Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Save the Lesbian Trees

The calendar may say Christmas is over, but in our hearts we can keep the holi-gay cheer going all year long. This holiday season saw the first-ever lesbian Christmas movies on Lifetime and Hallmark. While Hallmark made their debut entry into women-loving-women holiday fare with its one-of-these-three-sisters-is-gay entry “Every Time a Bell Rings,” Lifetime has easily won the cable holi-gay rom-com wars this year with their charming and cheestastic entry “Under the Christmas Tree.”

“Under the Christmas Tree” is exactly what you want from a lesbian holiday rom-com. A meet cute. An obstacle to overcome. An artisanal business on the brink of collapse. A woman who talks to trees. A sly strap-on joke. How is this not everyone’s favorite movie already?

Kidding! Sort of. But I think what made “Under the Christmas” tree truly enjoyable for me was it didn’t try to “baby steps” queerness to the audience. There was no coming out drama or “love is love” speechifying. Instead it allowed contextual clues to get watchers who needs it up to speed while offering a knowing head nod to those of us who area already firmly on Team Rainbow.

So, yes, they say the “L” word, and make it a toast even. So, yes, there are discussions of queer roots. And, yes, there’s a subtextual strap-on joke. And, yes, everyone’s jeans are cuffed so we know they’re gay. Plus, they have Ricki Lake who pops in every 20 minutes or so to offer a few lines of sage wisdom and a French pastry. Did I mention there is also a baking competition? So, again, I ask, how is this not everyone’s favorite movie already?

They even get to [SPOILER ALERT FOR THE ENDING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.] to kiss for more than a damn split second (we all saw that millisecond kiss, Hallmark, and honestly – not impressed). Also, moving to a whole new town to be near your Christmas sweetie? Yeah, that’s next level U-Hauling, queer gays. Next level.

Now besides Ricki, the movie flexes its Lesbo Street Cred bona fides with lead actress Elise Bauman, who played queer characters in both the vampire lesbian webseries and movie “Carmilla” and the indie film “Almost Adults” (and both times with co-star Natasha Negovanlis). Here her co-star (besides those Bettie Page bangs) is the Tattiawna Jones whose previous credits include “The 100,” “The Bold Type” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so the six-degrees of gay separation game is real easy with these two.

Also, as an Easter egg for its wlw viewers, Lifetime has cast Wendy Crewson as he mom of Elise’s character Alma. Now imagine Wendy with her signature dark brown hair instead of the white mom do and you’ll likely instantaneously have “Better Than Chocolate” and “An Unexpected Love” flashbacks.

The latter, way back in 2003, was also a Lifetime movie and one of the first cable movies to tackle lesbian relationhips (in this case a late-in-life lesbian epiphany courtesy Wendy’s power suit-wearing Mac).

So, have you unwrapped “Under the Christmas Tree” yet in your household? And if not, what are you waiting for?

1 comment:

Panty Buns said...

Under the Christmas Tree looks wonderful. Thanks for the review, the trailer link, and
thank you also for linking your earlier posts titled 'More Holi-Gay Cheer' and 'Oh Lesbian Christmas Tree...' and 'Happy Holigays Scheduling' - I really, really love your blog posts!
I wish NetFlix would carry a lot more uplifting lesbian movies and TV shows and stop dropping so many of the ones I loved watching, including 'Girltrash: All Night Long', 'The L Word', 'Below Her Mouth', 'La Luciernaga', and 'Good Kisser' Movie among others.