Single All the Way is living proof that gays deserve cheesy holiday fluff just like the straights! In a story that feels like it could be a gender-flipped vehicle for Julia Roberts circa the 90s, two longtime queer BFFs discover there may indeed be something more to their extensive relationship history. Fan-favorite character actor Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) plays the lead, Peter, with his signature wit and charm bleeding through every moment. The rest of the cast is filled with an exciting ensemble, and the creatives are certainly passionate to tell this timeless tale.
Every holiday spent with his family lends Peter to a hilarious amount of scrutiny. In fact, his “being single” track record has become a running joke. This year, Peter is excited to bring along his seemingly perfect boyfriend of three months—that is, until he finds out that Tim is actually married and has been lying for the entirety of their relationship. Not wanting to embrace his single status once more, Peter begs his gay-but-platonic best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to tag along and pretend to be actual boyfriends. The charade does not last long though. Only minutes after arriving at his mother’s home, Carole (Kathy Najimy) informs Peter that she has set him up with a blind date. Nick approves of this date, as does the rest of Peter’s enthusiastic family; Peter himself is not thrilled.
To his surprise (but not to the audience), Peter finds himself completely smitten with the blind date in question: James (Luke Macfarlane), an extremely hot gym trainer rippling with muscles. Initially trying to resist the thrall of James, Peter finds himself drawn on several more dates. Meanwhile, both Nick and Peter have buried the feelings they have for one another underneath years of friendship and bad timing. Peter’s family roots for handyman Nick to steal Peter’s heart. Will Peter pick the potential man of his wet dreams, or will Nick and their bond grow stronger, perhaps even romantic?
I was a bit concerned when the film started, and Netflix notified me that this was a PG-rated rom-com. I was mostly afraid that the campy gayness would be dialed back—color me surprised, then, that Single All the Way manages to be considerably more adult than I anticipated. Less concerned with stereotypes, this film instead does admittedly have a highly predictable storyline that one can feel coming from a mile away. It gives up gay cliches to embrace romance-movie cliches. This is a move that feels partly confused, but is also refreshing because we certainly do not have a plethora of gay Christmas comedies. This one is far better than last year’s abysmal The Christmas Setup, but not quite as cute as Dashing in December. However, where else would one witness the must-see imagery of Jennifer Coolidge dressed as Glinda the Good Witch?
Ultimately, Single All the Way does what it needs to provide popcorn entertainment to the masses on Netflix, just in time for the frigid chill of December’s entrance. Michael Urie shares lovely chemistry with both Chambers and Macfarlane. Though it may be simplistic, the joyous messages and uplifting storytelling are a Christmas present that is accessible to any age. Bust out the decorations, put up the fake white tree, pack on the shaving cream in the shape of a beard, and have a fun time with Single All the Way.
Single All the Way sends you on a blind date when it comes to Netflix on Thursday, December 2nd.