‘Single All the Way’ is sure to make this holiday season brighter

Michael Mayer delivers a gay Christmas rom-com that’s filled with joy

Originally published January 4, 2022 by Katherine Ransier, Staff Reporter

Philemon Chambers stars as Nick (left), the love interest to Michael Urie’s Peter (right) in “Single All the Way” which premiered on Dec.2 and has garnered praise for being one of Netflix’s first gay Christmas rom-coms (IMDb).

If you’re anything like me, you grew up with a constant stream of Hallmark during the holidays. I’d come home from school, excited to sit down and watch “Wild Kratts,” only to see that it hadn’t been recorded in favor of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas.

For a long time, I hated it. The movies were unoriginal and unintelligent. The acting was bad and the writing even worse. But, as I grew older I learned to love them. The cliché kiss in front of the wreath, or the christmas tree, or in front of a horse stable (more common than you’d think), became a way to ring in the holiday season instead of a reason to cringe. The bad acting and writing became an ironic thing to laugh at with my family as we ate Danish kringle and opened gifts.

“Single All the Way” delivers on all the good things about Hallmark. It’s formulaic, the dialogue is cringey at worst and okay at best, and there are a handful of plot points that make zero sense.

And it’s exactly what we need during the holidays.

The movie follows best friends Peter and Nick as they visit Nick’s family and are forced to save a Christmas play along with having to figure out their own relationship. With an ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Coolidge as eccentric Aunt Sandy, Jennifer Robertson of “Schitt’s Creek” fame and Luke Macfarlane, a repeat Hallmark Christmas movie star who came out as gay in 2008, “Single All the Way” has a very camp feel.

The Netflix movie has most classic rom-com tropes, such as best friends to lovers, sharing a bed, love triangle and as much pining as you can pack into 99 minutes.

It was a delightful experience to sit down with a friend and watch this movie. It was the first queer Christmas movie I’ve seen that didn’t have a coming out plotpoint, or really anything stressful. A delightful low stakes romp through the world of small towns and Christmas trees, it made me smile and laugh (both because there were some genuinely funny jokes and the stupidity of some of the scenes).

Queer people don’t get much, if any, lighthearted representation. “Happiest Season,” a lesbian Netflix Christmas rom-com that premiered last year, was ground-breaking in similar ways as “Single All the Way.” But, it’s not nearly as jovial as this film. There’s a lot of tension between the two “Happiest Season” main characters about coming out, and worries about their relationship being viewed as “bad.”

“Single All the Way” has none of that, just adorable scenes of Nick and Peter pining for each other while helping kids learn their lines for the family’s annual Christmas play.

Queer people deserve cliché Christmas rom-coms too, and “Single All the Way” delivers on all of those fronts.