A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Race Deconstructed newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox every week, sign up for free here.The enthusiasm for Netflix’s first Christmas-themed gay rom-com has largely centered on its radical joy.Single All the Way” is, crucially, a queer fantasy, one in which gay men feel empowered to explore and act on their wishes. Their lives are not marked by homophobia or missed opportunities.
As the film traces the romantic life of Peter (Michael Urie), it vigorously portrays a gay love story that features not misery, but things like a charming dance sequence set in Britney Spears’ Christmas bop “My Only Wish ( This Year).
But other things caught my attention on my second visit. The story is wonderfully hermetic, its characters drinking mint latte in a winter wonderland devoid of intolerance against homosexuals.
However, there are occasional reminders of the social challenges – navigating closet fidgeting, struggling with the isolation of small places – that have long gripped queer people. Together, these different layers make “Single All the Way” an emotionally rich movie.The plot is as follows. Peter, an overworked social media professional in Los Angeles, is determined to evade his family’s judgment of his singleness.
How do you intend to do that? Making his best friend pose as his boyfriend. Nick (Philemon Chambers), a children’s author, reluctantly agrees to the plan, and the two fly to snowy Bridgewater, New Hampshire, to vacation with Peter’s family.Then a twist. Peter’s mother, Carole (Kathy Najimy), arranges for her son to go on a blind date with James (Luke Macfarlane), a trainer so hot he’s hurting your feelings in her gym.
The rest of the charming film explores the usual preoccupations of romantic comedies, as viewers wonder: Will Peter end up with James? Or discover that his feelings for Nick are not platonic.The hat’s plot is refreshing. When movies, including romantic comedies, feature queer characters, they tend to focus on the pain that identity can bring. There is a place for these films, many of which add the necessary dimension to the anguish of navigating a homophobic society.