Single All the Way—Netflix’s Gay Holiday Rom-Com—Is the Best Damn Movie I’ve Seen All Year

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Like every good gay, I’m checking the awards season predictions website Gold Derby every day to see where Lady Gaga ranks in the best actress Oscars race. (Go see House of Gucci!) She’s not in the top five right now, which is egregious—as is the fact that Single All the Way, Netflix’s new gay holiday rom-com, isn’t in the running for best picture at all. Because let me tell you: It’s the best damn picture I’ve seen all year.

There’s only one movie released in 2021 that features a synchronized dance to Britney Spears’s seminal Christmas classic “My Only Wish (This Year).” Only one movie that has Jennifer Coolidge wearing a leopard-print dress—under a leopard-print coat—directing a pageant called Jesus H. Christ and screaming at children. Only one movie in which Kathy Najimy demands to be called “Christmas Carole” by her family and buys bottles of wine by the shopping cart. Only one movie that makes a subtle, perfect reference to Madonna’s 1990 concert documentary Truth or Dare. That movie, my friends, is Single All the Way. And for all these reasons and more it deserves to be viewed by every household not just in America but on the planet. Every single person with eyeballs needs to watch Single All the Way and bask in the pure serotonin of Barry Bostwick asking if HGTV is a gay porn channel. You simply must.

The plot of Single All the Way reads like any holiday movie from Hallmark or Lifetime. Unlucky-in-love Peter (Michael Urie) asks his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to come home with him for Christmas and pretend to be his boyfriend so his family doesn’t shame him for being single. Nick agrees, but upon their arrival to New Hampshire, we learn Peter’s mom, Carole (Najimy), has set Peter up on a blind date with hunky fitness instructor James (Luke Macfarlane). So Nick and Peter call off their plan—but as the movie unfolds, they realize their feelings for each other are more than platonic. Cue a happily ever. It’s so charming, I could smash my laptop against the wall.

‘Single All The Way’ review

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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.

Credit: Netflix

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.

Credit: Netflix

‘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.

Credit: Netflix

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

You’ll Want to Get Familiar With Philemon Chambers, aka Nick in Netflix’s Single All the Way

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Philemon Chambers is making history with his first feature film debut in Netflix’s Single All the Way. The film, which premiered on Dec. 2, is the streamer’s first gay holiday rom-com. Philemon plays the role of Nick, who’s best friends with Michael Urie’s character Peter. The two go home to visit Peter’s family for the holidays and try to pretend to be a couple to keep his family off his back, but eventually, they find themselves stuck in a tricky love triangle.

Even through the cheesy romance, you can’t help but get stuck on Philemon’s lovable personality and handsome looks. It’s almost hard to believe this is his first big project. Considering how big a deal this new holiday flick is, we have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of Philemon in the future. Ahead, get to know more about the Hollywood newcomer.