‘Single All The Way’ review
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
Single All The Way: How Kathy Najimy’s husband Dan Finnerty was cast in holiday film
A request from Kathy Najimy ended with her husband Dan singing tunes as Kevin in the holiday movie.
How the foul-mouthed wedding singer from Old School ended up in Netflix’s first gay holiday rom-com
Did you hear the one about how Single All the Way found its Kevin?
The goofy crooner in the Netflix holiday film is played by Dan Finnerty, and we have his wife, Kathy Najimy, to thank for that. Najimy plays Carole, the mother of Michael Urie’s Peter in the movie, and wanted her husband Dan to join in her Canada for filming. COVID restrictions made crossing the border impossible for anyone not working, so they cast him in the film as Kevin.
“I was like, ‘Wait a second. Her husband is Dan Finnerty of the Dan Band,'” writer Chad Hodge says. “They’re amazing, and they’ve been around forever.” The Dan Band is a musical comedy group created by Finnerty known for its obscenity-filled covers of pop songs.
Single All the Way stars Urie and Philemon Chambers as best friends Peter and Nick, respectively, who spend Christmas with Peter’s family. While they hatch a plan to pose as boyfriends to avoid Peter spending another family holiday as a single man, Carole takes it upon herself to set her son up on a blind date. The hilarious, gay holiday rom-com centers on the antics of Peter’s eccentric family as the pair of best friends begin to see their romantic potential.
In the film, Kevin sings “Mrs. Claus” and an original song named after the movie that plays over the ending credits. Not only did he perform “Single All the Way,” but Finnerty also wrote the track for the movie. “He wrote [the song] just for the movie, which is pretty cool,” Hodge says. “Then [his casting] also hugely benefited the movie.”
Single All The Way Credit: Philippe Bosse/Netflix
This is not the first time Finnerty has brought his comedic music stylings to film. His breakout role was opposite Will Ferrell in 2003’s Old School, where he performed a version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. Finnerty went on to do the same in films like The Hangover before delivering another humorous hit in the holiday film.
Netflix has a musical gift for those who enjoy the new track. “It’s super fun, and they’re releasing it as a single soon,” Hodge says. “It’s really funny when you look at the lyrics.”
Single All the Way is streaming on Netflix.
What’s Your Fancy? Michael Urie’s Holiday Wish List
In the new romantic holiday comedy Single All the Way, premiering December 2 on Netflix, Michael Urie gets to tell his favorite kind of story. “It’s hilarious and it’s touching,” the actor, who recently starred in Broadway’s Chicken and Biscuits and will appear in the upcoming Jersey Boys Live!, says. “I’ve done Shakespeare, I’ve done comedy and intense drama, but I really respond when something’s billowing with heart.”
The film follows the perpetually single Peter, whose family’s main interest around Christmas seems to be finding him a match. “He’s always single at Christmas and his family makes him crazy by guilting him about that,” Urie says. “It’s the kind of thing that always interests me; stories that are very funny but also sweet.”
What else interests him? Below, Urie shares what he’s giving and hoping to get for the upcoming holiday season—as well as the recent purchases he can’t live without.