Eternally single Peter (Michael Urie) is happy to finally be able to take a boyfriend home to his meet his family over the holidays. After excitedly telling them he has a surprise, Peter discovers that his perfect new beau is actually married… to a woman. Not wanting to be embarrassed, Peter asks his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to join him for Christmas and pretend that they are now an item. That soon unravels when Peter’s mother Carol (Kathy Najimy) sees through the façade and organises a blind date for her son with her trainer James (Luke Macfarlane). As Peter and James spend time together, the family realises that Nick is the person Peter should be with and they embark on a mission to matchmake them.
‘Single All The Way’ is Netflix’s first gay Christmas movie, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer and written by Chad Hodge (‘Wayward Pines’). A real family affair, ‘Single All The Way’ is aimed at all ages and I really loved the way that the main characters being gay isn’t a big deal. Plot-wise this could be pretty much any romantic comedy but it just so happens that the lead characters are gay, and in this story they have the full support of their family and friends. There’s no traumatic coming out story or characters battling past wounds, Peter and Nick know exactly who they are.
While it’s pretty obvious how the storyline is going to pan out, ‘Single All The Way’ is effortlessly entertaining and at times very funny. Michael Urie, best-known for his role on the hit series ‘Ugly Betty’, is perfect as Peter, a man who can’t see what’s right in front of him but knows that the life he’s leading isn’t quite the one he wants. We see Peter easily taken in by James’ good-looks and charisma, but at the same time his relationship with Nick, played warmly by Philemon Chambers, deepens. While Peter and James get to know one another, we see Nick integrating seamlessly into Peter’s family and it’s when Peter’s meddling sisters and nieces get involved that both Peter and Nick start to wonder if their friendship could turn into something more.
Offering plenty of comedy along the way is a scene-stealing performance from Jennifer Coolidge (‘Legally Blonde’) as wayward man-hungry Aunt Sandy. While the character is familiar to other roles Coolidge has played, there’s no denying what a fantastic comedy actress she is. Watching Sandy trying to put together a Christmas play is hilarious and Coolidge is fantastic as ever. To be honest though, the whole cast is really good. Jennifer Robertson (‘Schitt’s Creek’) is self-deprecating and amusing as Peter’s sister Lisa while Kathy Najimy (‘Hocus Pocus’) as Peter’s mum Carol is well-meaning if not always totally getting things right. Luke Macfarlane (‘Brothers and Sisters’) is strong too offering the perfect hurdle for Peter and Nick to overcome.
‘Single All The Way’ made my heart sing. While the story is pretty predictable, the film has so much heart that you can’t help but fall in love with it. I’m so happy to see Netflix producing inclusive content like this and not just catering to their heterosexual audience. ‘Single All The Way’ is a fantastic film for the whole family, and for couples gay or straight, and it’ll make perfect viewing in the run-up to Christmas.
Cast: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Barry Bostwick, Kathy Najimy, Jennifer Coolidge, Luke Macfarlane, Jennifer Robertson Director: Michael Mayer Writer: Chad Hodge Certificate: PG Duration: 99 mins Released by: Netflix Release date: 2nd December 2021
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