Monday, December 6, 2021

'Tis the Season - Single All the Way (2021)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Single All the Way (2021)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Length: 99 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production/Distribution: Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Netflix
Director: Michael Mayer
Writer: Chad Hodge
Actors: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Kathy Najimy, Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Coolidge, Jennifer Robertson, Luke Macfarlane, Melanie Leishman, Alexandra Beaton, Madison Brydges, Steve Lund, Gryffin Hanvelt, Viggo Hanvelt, Dan Finnerty, Stefano DiMatteo, Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles, Adam Capriolo, Christopher Hayes, Matt Keyes, Marvin Ishmael
IMDb Blurb: Desperate to avoid his family's judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter convinces his best friend Nick to join him for the holidays and pretend that they're now in a relationship.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I got together the list of movies coming out in December, this was one of a handful that I just KNEW I had figured out by the title alone.

I pictured a girl returning home as single (or recently dumped) and either being set up with, or meeting, the man of her dreams. A guy who teaches her the meaning of Christmas. Aside from the main leads being gay, I was pretty close.  

I’m a little annoyed by it. The trailer made Single All the Way look like it was going to have a bit more of a unique angle. I got my hopes up.

Single All the Way wasn’t a complete waste of time. It was, however, just an LGBTQ+ version of your typical Hallmark Christmas flick. It had some decent moments, though.

The inevitable ‘admission-of-feelings’ scenes were very cute. They had that awkward, bumbling, quality to them that people have in real life when admitting to a friend that they have romantic feelings. I like that. When movies pretty those scenes up too much, I have trouble suspending disbelief. This felt a little more natural.

That said, the script was not my favorite. If I ever hear anyone utter the word ‘guncle’ again? I’m going to have a tantrum. That is officially the non-slur word I hate most in any language that exists. Didn’t know it was a thing until today, never want to hear it again.

I also had some issues with the way some characters were portrayed. There were a LOT of stereotypes in use. Most of it was stuff that was prevalent in LGBTQ+ films from the 90s. We’ve come a long way since then. Our films should reflect that.

Now, I’m not saying it was offensive. It wasn’t. There were a lot of positive ideas and perspectives in it – I just think there were a few characterizations that could have felt a smidge less dated.

This is not the kind of film I would seek out during the year. That said, if you’re looking specifically for a rom-com Christmas movie, it’s not the worst of the bunch. 

Cat’s Point of View:
Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the joy the season brings. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true! Christmas decorations, with their colorful grandeur or even simple twinkling beauty, lift my spirits with a glance; and the melodies of carols soar above the grinding minutia of regular daily life. I love the time with family and friends. It also helps that my favorite color is one of the staples of the season – green. I digress… The point is that I get excited around this time of year, and I’m a bit particular about my Christmas movies. They need to feel magical in some way or at least be very entertaining.
Single All the Way succeeded in the entertainment department.
When Selina and I watched the trailer in preparation for this month’s Top 20 Movies to Look Out for in December 2021 article, we could generally predict the potential outcomes for the film, but it gave me good vibes and hope that the journey would be worth it. That paid off.

Everyone felt real, rather than walking stereotypes. That was an amazing edge for Single All the Way. The characters felt like people instead of caricatures, dodging one of the pitfalls that plague the representation of LGBTQ+ in cinema. I believed the quirky/crazy family dynamic and bought what the movie was selling as the deep friendship between the main characters.
It also blows my mind that Single All the Way was apparently the feature film debut of Philemon Chambers. His chemistry with Michael Urie (Abducted, Younger, Swan Song) hit on all of the right notes for me. I also adored the fact that his character, Nick, is an author who wrote a children’s book about adopting a dog. There are so many little nuances to their deeper story that enrich the movie.

I’ll be honest. My initial excitement for Single All the Way came from the fact that Kathy Najimy (Dumplin', Veep, Duncanville) and Barry Bostwick (Incredibles 2, Slay Belles, The Potwins) were in this production together. I adore them and am willing to give their projects a chance – even if on the surface they look like a corn-fest. I’m rarely ever disappointed. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t here, either.
Sure, we always knew where this by-the-numbers rom-com was going. The route it took, however, made it work. Single All the Way captured the spirit of the season and a little bit of that sparkly Christmas magic. Grab some family or friends and a mug of something hot and yummy and snuggle in for this one on Netflix.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 71%
Metascore –49%
Metacritic User Score – 6.9/10
IMDB Score – 6.4/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5 /5
P.S. A scene plays during the credits.
Movie Trailer:

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