Single All the Way-2021
Starring Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Luke Macfarlane
Scott’s Review #1,325
Reviewed December 21, 2022
Single All the Way (2021) is an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy film released by the streaming behemoth Netflix, though I swear the film feels like a Hallmark or Lifetime television movie of the week offering.
The film is a Christmas-themed romantic comedy about gay men and is the streaming service’s first gay holiday film.
As inspired and momentous as this may sound please hold the accolades and champagne for just a hot second. I hoped for at least a bit more danger, complexity, or even darker drama from Single All the Way being that it’s the first of its kind.
Instead, I was presented with a childish, cliched, saccharine-induced, run-of-the-mill story that swaps the standard straight-laced, blue-eyed, blonde-haired straight couple from the midwest, USA, with gay characters.
Everything else remains the same.
Since the LGBTQ+ is to be celebrated, the result is a marginally enjoyable romantic comedy featuring gay men and a timid triangle where the audience knows all along how it’s going to play out.
Desperate to avoid his family’s judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter (Michael Urie) who lives in Los Angeles, convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to join him for the holidays in snowy New Hampshire and pretend that they’re now in a relationship.
But when Peter’s mother (Kathy Najimy) sets him up on a blind date with her hunky trainer James (Luke Macfarlane) the plan goes awry. Peter becomes caught in a quandary about either confessing his feelings for Nick or pursuing relations with James while his family schemes to unite Peter and Nick.
Let me just make clear that the only reason Single All the Way rates as high as a ‘C+’ is that I applaud the decision to write, produce, and release an LGBTQ+-themed film. It’s about damn time, but I wish it were a better film.
Nick being light-skinned black is also a way to promote at least a bit of diversity, although the other characters and environment feel as white as the fake snow draping the wintry set design.
Despite being slightly effeminate he works as a rugged handyman which somehow completely doesn’t work.
The main issue is that there is no chemistry between any of the three men. Unbelievable is how Nick and Peter have been roommates for years and it takes a trip to New Hampshire for them to suddenly realize their undying love for one another.
Macfarlane, well-known for appearing in Bros. (2022), the first gay romantic comedy released by a major studio, is almost distractingly good-looking. Hunky and drop-dead gorgeous, to believe his character would be the odd man out against the semi-cute Peter and Nick is laughable.
It’s like someone wanted the average joe to finally beat out the hunk.
Realistically, Peter would have at least slept with James instead of hemming and hawing before declining an invitation up to James’s apartment after a date.
The family, led by Peter’s mother Carole (Najimy) is beyond irritating. Wanting desperately for her son to find love, she is what every gay man doesn’t want his mother to be. Landing Jennifer Coolidge, a gay icon, is a major win wasted by casting her in the cliche-riddled role of Aunt Sandy, a man-hungry diva.
If that isn’t bad enough, Peter’s two sister’s scheming to separate Peter and James’s burgeoning romance and unite Peter and Nick is silly and not worthy of a daytime soap opera.
At the end of the day Single All the Way (2021) is barely even a cute film. It’s as safe as can be with every cliche (straight and gay) imaginable as if someone was so thrilled to be making an LGBTQ+ film that they didn’t dare take one single risk.