May 31, 2023

Entertaining Movies

Entertaining Movies

Single All the Way 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online

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Single All the Way 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online

The annual avalanche of cheesy Christmas films for hopeless romantics everywhere to feast on is well under way. This year Netflix alone have released Love Hard, Princess Switch 3 and A Castle For Christmas. There has tended to be a common theme: straight, largely white and inexplicably set in a remote village.

Single All The Way valiantly attempts to break the usual stereotypes whilst keeping the key ingredients that make a Christmas rom-com what it is. Debuting as Netflix’s first gay festive romance, the movie stars Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) as Peter, alongside Philemon Chambers as best friend and roommate, Nick.

It seems ridiculous that this is revolutionary, but it’s always refreshing to watch a queer film not laced with trauma. The LGBTQ+ community deserves lighthearted romances, too. And who could forget an entire subplot dedicated to the iconic Jennifer Coolidge running a rogue Christmas nativity?

And so, we enter the world of Nick and Peter. The premise includes all the elements to brew a quarter-life crisis and find eventual love. The two best friends live in LA, where Peter’s an on-set producer disgruntled with his job, and Nick is a handyman by day and best-selling children’s author by night.

As Christmas approaches, Peter invites Nick to come home with him after his latest relationship falls through. You might roll your eyes at the cliché “fake relationship to appease overly-invested family” trope, but the film manages to turn it on its head. You can’t help but feel bad for Peter’s plight to get his family off his back (and maybe find true love on the way)

There are a few eye-wincing scenes when the number of clichés gets a bit much: from a plant-obsessed millennial to Nick having no family to call his own (yes, this is all in the first ten minutes).

But once you embrace it, it becomes a lot more fun. The boys arrive in a New Hampshire location (the designated ‘small town’), and enter into the whirlwind that is Peter’s family. Two hours of love triangles, family therapy sessions and painfully oblivious protagonists follow – along with several laugh out loud moments.

There are a number of relatable lines for anyone who’s found themselves single this holiday season – perhaps summed up best when Peter describes his LA love life as “seven heartbreaks and a mountain of therapy debt”. The dynamic between Peter and his family is also a journey to watch unfold.

If you thought you understood the concept of a ‘meddling family’, think again. Although they have Peter’s best intentions at heart, their intensity toes the line a time or two. Having said that, who doesn’t want Schitt’s Creek’s Jennifer Robertson as your doting sister?

Without giving too much away, this film is the definition of a slow burn that even pulled out the much-loved ‘one bed’ trope to get our love interests where they needed to be.

We can appreciate the need for exposition as much as the next person, but the often-clunky dialogue explaining characters’ motives and plots is over-laboured. You might find yourself cringing more than once at the on-the-nose conversations. And while there should always be some suspension of disbelief when it comes to cheesy rom-coms, the fact that things work out in the end is slightly pushing it.

Many people had opinions on how last year’s Christmas romance, Happiest Season, tackled the queer experience, and it’s no different for Single All the Way.

Although there are points where a “gay” joke is overdone, the most it provokes is an internal cringe. The film manages to strike a good balance between acknowledging its inherent queerness while not making it the entire point of the plot.

There were times when it could be questioned that the movie is ignoring some fundamental dynamics. There seems to be no conversation about placing a gay black man in the middle of what looks like a very white and straight town. But, if you’re simply signing up for a mindless Christmas romance, then it’s another case of acknowledging that fact and moving on. Unconditional acceptance seems a good alternative.

Essentially, you get exactly what you sign up for when you click on a Christmas-pun themed film title. An eccentric and loving family Christmas, filled with heartwarming romance and some slightly ridiculous life-changing decisions.

Single All the Way 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online