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‘Intimate’ same-sex kiss in Hallmark’s first gay Christmas movie was designed to ‘push limits’

Patrick Kelleher November 23, 2020
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Brad Harder and Mean Girls' Jonathan Bennett touching foreheads

Brad Harder and Mean Girls' Jonathan Bennett in The Christmas House. (Hallmark)

The director of Hallmark’s first gay Christmas film knows some viewers will be pushed to the “limit” by a romantic same-sex kiss.

The Christmas House, starring Mean Girls‘ very-own Jonathan Bennett as one half of a gay couple, aired on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday (22 November), breaking new ground for the typically conservative network.

Hallmark famously produces a huge number of festive favourites every year – but before now, they have always erred on the side of erasure when it came to representing queer couples. That finally changed this year with The Christmas House.

And director Michael Grossman knows that some viewers who hold anti-LGBT+ views will have struggled watching a scene where Bennett’s character Brandon Mitchell kisses his on-screen husband Jake, played by Brad Harder

“Look, I know what the reputation of the Hallmark Channel is, and what a lot of people across the country expect it to be,” Grossman told the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m hoping that some percentage of these people might just be able to squint their eyes a little bit and learn something about people being people, and people loving each other. And that it isn’t all the things they might imagine it to be.”

Grossman continued: “I understand that, for some of the audience, the kiss is definitely pushing them to a potential limit. But, you know, limits need to be pushed sometimes.”

The Christmas House director ‘honoured to get to make history’.

The Christmas House follows Mitchell family matriarch Phyllis (played by Sharon Lawrence) and father Bill (played by Treat Williams) as they summon their grown-up sons home for the festive season to help recreate the magic of Christmas past.

Bennett plays one of the adults sons returning to the family home with his husband over the festive season.

The film follows the couple as they anxiously await a phone call about their plans to become first-time dads by adopting a child together.

Reflecting on the powerful on-screen kiss, Harder told the Los Angeles Times: “This scene is so beautiful and intimate because this couple has so much love for each other. It was magical. We were so honoured to get to make history and represent LGBTQ couples just like in our personal lives.”

Related topics: jonathan bennett, The Christmas House

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