Happiest Season Pittsburgh

All of the Pittsburgh things in Hulu’s holiday movie “Happiest Season”

And there are plenty of them.

by Amanda Reed | December 23, 2020

(📸: Dan Levy and Kristen Stewart walking down Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Photo courtesy of Hulu’s trailer.)

In case you live under a rock, “Happiest Season,” Hulu’s latest holiday release that dropped today, was filmed in Pittsburgh. But you probably don’t know that there are many Pittsburgh things in this movie that was filmed in Pittsburgh, which is pretty rare. We watched the movie ahead of its release to point them out to you.

First, a synopsis: “Happiest Season” — the first queer holiday rom-com backed by a major studio — centers around couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis). Harper invites Abby to spend Christmas with her family, but there’s a twist: Harper isn’t out to her family and her family doesn’t know she’s dating Abby. As they say, chaos ensues. You can watch the trailer here. You can watch the movie on Hulu here.

Pittsburgh things in the “Happiest Season”

(Warning, spoilers ahead)

  • In the opening credits, you can see the Duquesne Incline and Downtown skyline.
  • Harper (Mackenzie Davis) and Abby (Kristen Stewart) hang out in Schenley Park in the opening credits.
  • There is a holiday tour scene near the beginning which was filmed in the Avalon neighborhood.
  • Abby also rocks a Carnegie Mellon University sweatshirt on Halloween.
  • You can see the facade of The Vandal and the outside of Industry Public House, both in Lawrenceville, around the 10-minute mark.
  • Abby gives John (Dan Levy) instructions on getting into a Butler Street apartment for holiday pet sitting.
  • Abby and John walk down Butler Street where you can see Row House Cinema, Bierport, Merchant Oyster Co. and Hambone’s (RIP).
  • Abby and Harper drive over one of Pittsburgh’s infamous yellow bridges en route to Harper’s parents house.
  • A shopping scene is filmed at Rosie’s Workshop, located inside Ross Park Mall.
  • A jewelry store scene is filmed inside Skelton Jewelry along Penn Ave.
  • Harper is a journalist who covers government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nothing about the guild’s labor struggles is mentioned in the movie, however.
  • Abby, presumably a Pittsburgh native, is a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University studying art history. Both of her parents were professors there. Harper’s dad is impressed with Abby being a student at CMU, as most people are when they find out there is a CMU student in their presence.

Why is there so much Pittsburgh in a movie that seemingly has zero ties to the city in its cast and crew? Who cares! Excuse us while we crack open an Iron City, nosh on some takeout from a local restaurant (we’ve got some suggestions for takeout and beer pairings) and cozy up to watch this movie. Let Pittsburghers have one thing. Please.

Did we miss anything? @ us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to let us know.

Behind the scenes

Pittsburgh Today Live interviewed the cast when they were in town in February to film the movie.

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Amanda Reed

Amanda Reed

Amanda Reed is a Pittsburgh-based journalist who mostly makes dumb jokes on Twitter @reedkat_ . Her work has appeared in Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, the Riveter Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings and the Pittsburgh Current. She proudly owns multiple faux fur coats and really loves opossums.

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