Reminiscent of many a Hallmark Channel movie, even for Netflix, Single All the Way tells the story of best friends Peter (Michael Urie) and Nick (Philemon Chambers). Wanting to avoid the prodding questions about his love life, Peter asks Nick to spend the holidays with him and his family while pretending to be his boyfriend (sound familiar?)
But before the holiday charade can start, Peter is set up by his well-meaning mother, Carole (Kathy Najimy), on a blind date. The more time Peter’s kooky family spends with Nick, however, the more they realize the two might actually be meant for each other. Hijinks ensue to try and get the pair to realize their feelings, right on time for Christmas.
One of the great things about this Netflix rom-com is that the central love story involves two men. We really don’t see that sort of thing a lot, even on streaming services. And Single All the Way departs from some of the common tropes we tend to see in LGBTQ stories brought to screen, like how there are no coming-out scenes anywhere in this film. There’s no hiding behind a facade. There are no stories of rejection and pain. This is, in fact, a celebratory and honest depiction of holiday romance, where gay men are given the same kind of corny love story so often reserved for straight couples.
The story in this film is a heartwarming one and makes for an entertaining holiday movie, but what makes it even more special is in how it makes history as Netflix’s first LGBTQ holiday rom-com.
While full of beautiful intentions, this Christmas flick did miss the mark in some areas. The lack of chemistry between the leading men does damper some of its potential. One concept that gets discussed throughout the film is the fact that everyone sees this strong romantic connection between Nick and Peter, except for Nick and Peter. Watching the film, it’s hard to believe what so many of the other characters claim to see.
Thankfully, the film does shine in other ways. The family around Peter has some wonderful comedic moments. Kathy Najimy plays the loving and quirky mother quite well, as she often brings up an advice book she’s reading that she incorrectly calls, “Loving Your LGBTT Child.”
The shining star in this film, however, is Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Sandy, who spends the film obsessing over her children’s Christmas pageant. Coolidge has some of the best one-liners in the film, where in one scene she’s talking about getting Peter and Nick to help her with her failing production saying, “The gays just know how to do stuff..and for some reason, they’re always obsessed with me.”
While the script is full of so many clichés we’re used to seeing in the yearly deluge of Christmas rom-coms (I mean, just read that title), that might actually be the point. It’s familiar story, sure, but with a different kind of couple at the center, so more people tuning in can feel seen this holiday season.
Single All the Way is streaming on Netflix now. Check out the trailer below.