• Veronika Jel

REVIEW: ‘Single All The Way’ Is Full Of Fan Clichés and Tropes

Netflix’s first gay Christmas movie finally “came out” a couple of days ago. Get ready for longing gazes, ridiculous stage plays, and way too many meddling family members.


Image: Netflix

Best Friend or Lovers?


When Peter (Michael Urie) finds out that his boyfriend has been lying to him right after he invited him to his family’s Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He knows that if he goes home single again, his family won’t stop pestering him about it.


But then he gets an idea: he and his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) can go together and pretend they’re in a relationship. Sure, that’s great and not at all dangerous. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Right?


Christmas movies are some of the corniest and most cliché-filled movies out there. That’s just a fact. ‘Single All The Way’ is no exception to this.

How many tropes can we fit in one movie?


Christmas movies are some of the corniest and most cliché-filled movies out there. That’s just a fact. ‘Single All The Way’ is no exception to this. Just in this one movie, we have the fake dating trope. Friends to lovers. Oblivious characters. Jealousy. Meddling relatives. Oh, and don’t forget about tons and tons of mutual pining.


On paper, this sounds perfect. I don’t know about anyone else, but I like my Christmas flicks as cheesy and predictable as possible. It’s what creates that heart-warming, cozy, and feel-good effect that makes you want to wrap yourself in a blanket and have a cup of hot cocoa with those tiny marshmallows.


Like I said: perfect on paper. But there is just one problem with this: the movie didn’t go nearly hard enough on the tropes.


This movie was silly. It was romantic. We all knew where it was going. And that was enough. I just wish it would’ve been more fearless.

When you make a movie this ridden with clichés, it’s important to go all out. Lean into the fake dating. Go heavy on the meddling. Unfortunately, ‘Single All The Way’ seemed a bit afraid to do that. We had all the tropes, yes. But a lot of them went nowhere or were shrouded in too much self-awareness that it sucked the fun out of them. There were moments that made me want to scream at the screen. We didn’t need this movie to be self-aware. We just needed it to be fun. Which, don’t get me wrong, it was. But it could’ve been so much more fun, so easily.


How do you make a gay Christmas movie?


Apparently, you get Jennifer Coolidge to play a kooky aunt. According to her character, the gays seem to love her.


No, but seriously. The whole point of having a Christmas movie with a same-sex couple at the forefront is not to have something unique and special. It’s to have yet another lighthearted, stupid Christmas movie – just with a bit more diversity.


That’s perhaps why the constant references to “myths about gays” and the mother’s misremembering of the letters in “LGBTQ” were unnecessary. Really, these things took away from the final product. They made it obvious that this movie indeed was something unusual for us to be watching. After all, we don’t exactly have a lot of LGBTQ+ Christmas classics.

This movie was silly. It was romantic. We all knew where it was going. And that was enough.

I just wish it would’ve been more fearless. More over the top. Even more silly and romantic and predictable.


Rating: 3/5