Netflix’s first gay holiday romcom, ‘Single All the Way,’ is so cute and funny

Very mild spoilers for Single All the Way
Kristen Stewart starred in the first studio-backed gay holiday romcom, Happiest Season, which came out just last year on Hulu. We also got some more LGBTQ diversity on Hallmark and Lifetime. How did we get the first gay Christmas movie only a year ago? Something is so off here. The good news is that Netflix has a gay holiday romcom out now, it’s their first and it’s absolutely delightful. Single All the Way stars Michael Urie as lead Peter, Philemon Chambers as his best friend and roommate, Nick, and Kathy Najimy and Jennifer Coolidge in supporting roles. After a pre-holiday breakup, Peter convinces his friend Nick to come home from LA to New Hampshire with him and pretend to be his boyfriend for Christmas. You know where this is going, but you really don’t. Single All the Way feels fresh and different, and not just because the lead is a gay man. It’s laugh out loud funny and so heartwarming I said “aww” and “ooh” at the screen multiple times. I will watch it again, preferably with my mom over Christmas if she doesn’t watch it first.

Single All the Way has a 55% critics rating and a 70% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes me wonder how many grinches watched it. This movie is adorable! Here are two glowing reviews from critics who felt the same way I did.

Single All the Way takes all the large family vibes of a Family Stone, pairs it with the coziness of a Hallmark romance, and serves all the laughs of Netflix’s hip holiday comedies, like Holidate or Love Hard.

Single All the Way is a helluva serve. It is everything you want from holiday romcom—and more. The story works, the performances are superb, the chemistry is there, the feels are present, and every joke lands.

Overall, Single All the Way delivers the laughs and the feels. It’s nothing short of a Christmas romcom miracle. – From Decider

Single All the Way has all the charm, all the tropes, and all the hot chocolate that any run-of-the-mill holiday rom-com has. There just happens to be a gay couple at the center, an interracial gay couple at that. But the movie never makes a thing out of this, which is important. There are no coming-out scenes, no family-trauma porn, no homophobia—this a utopian Christmas movie where the biggest problem is convincing Jennifer Coolidge not to steal all the lines in the children’s holiday pageant. Yes, the problems gay couples (particularly interracial ones) face are real and shouldn’t be ignored—but we also deserve a Christmas fantasy. Single All the Way is that, and it does a good job of showing that gay relationships are just as normal, just as sweet, just as yuletide ooey-gooey, as straight ones.

That being said, this movie is also, gloriously, gay as hell. That’s what makes it so fun. The puns included—“don your gay apparel,” “FOMO-sexual”—are cheeky without ever being cringey. At one point Kathy Najimy, with the most serious face, says, “Gay? I know gay,” and I’ll be thinking about that for the next 40 years. Jennifer Coolidge dresses up as Glinda the Good Witch for no discernible reason. The late, great West Hollywood gay bar Flaming Saddles is referenced. (The New York City one is still kicking, FYI, and I highly suggest going if you’re in town.) When Nick walked into Peter’s room and noticed that Christmas Carole had taken down all his Britney Spears posters, my heart fluttered. Behold, pop culture has finally blessed us with a Britney Gay. I’ve never felt more seen. – From Glamour

[From Decider and Glamour]

I included the review from Christopher Rosa in Glamour because he summed it up much better than I could. Plus he has the perspective of a gay man who hasn’t seen himself represented in a holiday romcom before. It’s a pure fantasy without the sadness and family drama that a more serious film might try to interject. There’s so much joy in this movie. The lines are hilarious without being so clever it’s hard to believe someone would come up with the dialogue. (See: Community.) I do have one complaint and it’s that Jennifer Coolidge is made into a parody of her previous characters. She’s so over the top and there’s one cringey scene toward the end that felt unnecessary. That’s on the writers, not her. Kathy Najimy and Barry Botswick are excellent as the supportive but meddling parents and the teens who play Nick’s nieces are also very good.

Overall I would highly recommend this if you need a good escapist movie! Love Hard, with Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang is also cute, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Single All The Way. I can’t remember another Christmas romcom that would. Bonus points to Holidate though, that’s decent. Oh and I can’t forget the Norwegian series Home for Christmas.




photos credit: Philippe Bosse/Netflix

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35 Responses to “Netflix’s first gay holiday romcom, ‘Single All the Way,’ is so cute and funny”

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  1. Jillian says:

    I loved this one, those reviews sum it up perfectly: it’s sweet and normal, the main character is only othered because he’s the single sibling (and his family is only overbearing because they want him to find a nice man and be happy). Kathy Najimi is precious and Philemon Chambers is just too cute for words, everyone is good and it’s very funny

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    All the actors involved in this are the cat’s meow…AND its pajamas, so…a lot of cat. Will definitely watch!

    That said, Love Hard was hard to watch. I hated it so much, it ruined hate-watching for me.

  3. Snazzy says:

    On my list for this weekend!

  4. Cessily says:

    I watched this last night, I loved it. It is on my permanent Christmas feel good movies list.

  5. MellyMel says:

    Watched it over the weekend. Very cute and cheesy, which I love in a Christmas romcom.

  6. LaraK says:

    I’ve loved Michael urie since ugly Betty, and Jennifer Coolidge is an all time favorite, so definitely adding this to my watch list. Yay!

  7. C-Shell says:

    I have already watched this twice, and I know I’ll watch it again and again. It’s adorable and hilarious. The straightforward gay love story is so sweet and honest. The cast is awesome, and Jennifer Coolidge owns her campiness with abandon. Possibly best new Christmas romcom ever.

  8. truthSF says:

    Cute movie. But damn, the lack of Black, or any other POC characters besides the main co-lead is jarring! They couldn’t even give this man a his own family to appear in the movie. He was the only POC with lines throughout the movie besides the cheater’s wife, who only had a 10 second scene!😒

    • Imogene says:

      agree! and i didn’t like how they made him basically a servant. always willing to do for others – i know his job was to be a task rabbit but i felt like there was very little character development with him, just a silent, helpful blank slate.

    • Sunnydaze says:

      I was scrolling through insta and a few friends (who are a pretty diverse group of gay males) were sharing and commenting on a photoshopped pic of this retitled “Get Out 2”. Really made me question watching it after seeing how it was received by actual gay POC.

  9. Eating Popcorn says:

    I loved this for lots of different reasons but worth watching for Jennifer Coolidge’s performance alone! “My Christmas Pageant, Jesus H. Christ”

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Eating Popcorn, I watched it over the weekend as I was dead tired and needed something to calm my mind so I could go to sleep and I ended up watching it and I was giddy with happiness and utter joy!! The entire movie was so well done, from the writing, the story line and how well ALL of the characters played into the plot!!!

      I came away with an utter feeling of happiness, love and laughter from this brilliant movie!!! I watched it solely due to Coolidge and Najimy, who I have adored since Hocus Pocus and Sister Act!!


    I’m glad they made this film! Also I tend to trust audiences more than critics anyhow when it comes to movies where I want entertainment/laughs. I don’t really care if it doesn’t compare to an art house film.

    I didn’t watch Love Hard even though I adore Nina Dobrev. My assumption is that she ends up with the guy who catfished her. I don’t care how cute it is, having her end up with a manipulator seems messed up and only okay because he’s perceived as unattractive and non-threatening. It’s a bad look.

    • Hunter says:

      The issue of catfishing (I realize you said you didn’t see the film) isn’t cute, but it is vehemently called out in this film. I can’t give too much away (spoiler reasons) but there is also some introspection from Dobrev in this regard that is necessary to her character development.

      • CROOKSNNANNIES says:

        Thank you for your take! I’m glad it takes down the concept and has a nuanced approach, but my gut feeling is still that by having the characters end up together it is not totally rejecting the concept. But I think I should probably watch it before passing more judgment.

  11. Nikki* says:

    Minority opinion: I WANTED to like it; I have a gay son and also ADORE Jennifer Coolidge. But the acting and dialogue were so cheesy and fake, neither my husband nor I could watch it for 15 minutes.

    • manda says:

      thank you! thought I was alone. wanted to love it, but it seemed like a fake movie

    • Hallie says:

      You’re definitely in the minority. This is a beautiful heartwarming movie. Well acted and fun to watch. Maybe you need to examine what’s in your heart.

      • Emma33 says:

        I obviously have a heart made of ice, because I didn’t love it either. I wanted to, but I didn’t like the writing. It just didn’t hold my attention. But, it’s great that movies are being made where the fact that someone is gay isn’t the whole story.

  12. Case says:

    I’m not a romcom person but I watched this the other night and really enjoyed it. I mean, it was very much still a bad Hallmark-type movie, but the inclusion was awesome to see and it was a fun time.

  13. upstatediva says:

    I LOVED it!! Went to sleep after with a big smile on my face. So much charm and just the right amount of holiday cheese!

  14. Duchess of Hazard says:

    It was cute and cheesy. It wasn’t perfect for a few reasons, but that shouldn’t be the enemy of the good

  15. deezee says:

    I lasted 15-20 minutes before I had to turn this turd of a film off.

  16. Aud says:

    I watched it, it’s super adorable. When the dad asked if HGTV is porn… love

  17. Mimi says:

    I’ll watch anything with Jennifer Coolidge! She’s such a queen 👑

  18. L says:

    I saw it and it was so good and funny. I love that Jennifer Coolidge and the other guy from the wedding singer came out and sang his themed songs. 😆 ❤️

  19. Beth Coffey says:

    LOVED IT! I saw “The Christmas Setup” on Amazon Prime over the weekend, too. It’s a gay holiday romcom from 2020. Very cute.

  20. J ferber says:

    I watched it two days ago and ADORED it. I’m thinking of watching it again because it was so thoughtful, sweet and funny. 👏

  21. Ms M says:

    Thank you for reviewing this film, saw this movie on a lark after fighting through a dark depression episode. Personally I don’t identify with Hallmark movies, Rom-Com films or even Christmas themed movies that leave you feeling starry-eyed and sentimental lately. Life is tough and you can only experience so much heartbreak and disappointment before you start to feel jaded about the world. But I’m happy to have watched it.

    Yes, Jennifer Coolidge and Kathy Najimi both reeled me in, but the film itself was healing for me and threw a positive spin on the holiday season as well. To be fair to others, it can be a tough movie to watch sometimes. Saccharine sweet Hallmark types always feel so clunky and cliché with all of its heteronormative BS that is played out, gutted and boring. Never mind Hallmark’s tendency to only acknowledge *one* religious aspect to most of their holiday films. Like Trixie and Katya once said about films like this—it’s not a prestige film to hem and haw over; it’s something that is campy, comforting, familiar and predictable. Films like this always “end up being a ‘ham sandwich’, but still, it’s a good ham sandwich.” (paraphrasing here)

    This film made me happier than I was before because I quickly realized that our zeitgeist in film is now starting to develop into a more inclusive, accepting and beautiful platform for everyone to enjoy. When lost in the dark doldrums of the holidays, give this movie a shot and try to imagine little gay boys and little gay girls and little non binary children around the world streaming this, being thrilled to have at least one more movie to relate to this holiday season. Granted I’m not gay, more often than not I related to Kathy Najimi’s character in the film, so I can only speak on my pov and experiences. But this movie made me incredibly happy to realize the world is slowly—slowly, yet gradually—starting to change for the better, and I will happily watch this again while wrapping presents with my cat and a glass of wine later later next week! 😊💕

  22. kitty says:

    long time reader first time commenter just wanted to say that i watched this with my gay (semi- out) teen son and bi teen daughter, needing a cheer up as my dad just passed away. we loved it. yes, cringey at times (my son was thrown by some of the very gay stereotype vocal inflections in the early scenes at the photo shoot and LA christmas party). he also really got the message about needing to express your needs or not getting them filled (this is a big issue for him right now). we watched the happiest season last year and while we loved the representation, and kristin stewart, she ends up with the WRONG person, and it’s so obvious that it kind of spoils the movie. here we get the happy ending we all deserve. we are struggling to get through Love Hard now. although fun that the “cute guy” is paxton from “never have i ever” which is a must watch imo. adding to another commenter that it would be nice to see a little more diversity of holidays represented in the holiday rom coms. dash and lily did a nice job with this last year. teens love to see themselves represented in all the ways.

  23. PixiePaperdoll says:

    I wish every holiday movie was even half as good as this one!

  24. Lex says:

    Speaking of Xmas films, loved Love Hard (had it over a few vinos) – it was super cute. They should record/release their cover of baby it’s cold outside if they haven’t already. Hated Castle for Christmas or whatever it was called – so dull. Ah well.

  25. Paris says:

    I watched it with my gay best friend and we both got irritated with the kids pushing for the relationship in a way that was really forced and unnatural. I liked it for about half the movie and then started getting really annoyed with it. Both of us agreed that the blind date guy was a saint though.

    Love hard was adorable