Starring the first openly non-binary leading character in a holiday film ever, watch Merry & Gay with us now
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY JOSIAH CLARK
A pair of meddling mothers, a Christmas pageant, and the reunion of childhood sweethearts – what more could you want from a Christmas film? Merry & Gay premiered on DivaBoxOffice.tv on 1 December to viewers’ delight, submerging us into this festive romance. The film follows the reunion of childhood lovers Becca Winters (Dia Frampton) and Sam Sheridan (Andi René Christensen)… with a little help from their prying parents.
However, all is not completely jolly in their hometown Evergreen, Tennessee. With dreams to be a Broadway actor, Becca left Sam to pursue her career in New York three years ago. Since Becca’s departure, Sam has focused on running their family bar Sheridan’s. But the pain of this memory is easily sweetened by the pair’s mothers – Tilly Winters (Hayat Nesheiwat) and Lucille Sheridan (Janet Ivey) – who hatch a plan to reunite the high school sweethearts. But what happens when Becca’s manager, Charlotte Reese (Sarah Daddario) comes into town with an offer from Hollywood?
Merry & Gay is the first holiday romcom with an openly non-binary actor to star in a leading role. Andi René Christensen is best known for their roles in Bel-Air and Hacks, and is working to portray more non-binary characters onscreen. With Disney featuring their own non-binary character Raine Whispers in The Owl House, we’re hoping to see a lot more non-binary representation soon.
What’s so refreshing about Merry & Gay is that Sam and Becca’s relationship is not two-dimensionally attached to their queerness. It’s nice to finally see an openly queer couple on our screens who are not just defined by their gender or sexuality. The film gives us a story all about queer joy – something we want to see at Christmas! Instead of the stereotypical disapproving or prejudiced parents, we see two mothers desperate for the pair to get back together.
Another fun addition to this film is its musical numbers sung by Dia Frampton. Fans may recognise Dia from The Voice where she competed in her band Meg & Dia who came runners up in the first ever season of the show. Although be warned, the film’s titular song Merry & Gay will probably get stuck in your head for days after watching.
This film is A Baker Production directed by Christin Baker who aims to bring LGBTQIA storylines to the big screen with her films. Merry & Gay is the fourth holiday romcom from veteran writer, producer and director Christin, with other festive films including I Hate New Years and Season of Love.
The film has also been commended for its inclusivity outside of its leading characters, displaying ASL on centre stage with a performance from a deaf actor.
This heartwarming festive film is sure to make you want to cuddle up with a hot chocolate as you watch the pair reunite. Funny, full of memorable one-liners and characters, and feel-good moments, this film guarantees to make for a perfect holiday watch this year.
You can watch Merry & Gay on DivaBoxOffice.tv, the newly launched LGBTQI+ network, which is also showcasing a number of other LGBTQIA storylines to your screens. Grab your popcorn and head on over to www.divaboxoffice.tv.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.