Single All The Way – Review

Michael Urie as Peter, Philemon Chambers as Nick

Single All The Way (2021)

A movie about Peter and Nick, two long-time friends who could be more.

Peter (played by Michael Urie) is in a relationship with Tim. Tim turns out to be a cheating asshole who is married, as is found out by Peter’s best friend, Nick (played by Philemon Chambers), while he’s doing a Taskrabbit job on Tim’s house.

This sets up the plot for the movie where Peter is going home to visit his family, and knowing full well that his family will be deeply interested in his love life, he decides to ask Nick to pretend to be his boyfriend.

Things don’t quite go that way. Cue a blind date for Peter with someone else entirely, and Nick spending time with Peter’s family.

This movie kind of kept my interest most of the time, though it was mild all in all. That’s understandable considering it was a family Christmas movie.

I feel it was cast quite well and Michael Urie did a great job with playing Peter as someone exasperated by his family but clearly close to them, while he navigates his feelings surrounding his own life. So, I guess it’s a bit of a self-discovery thing, too.

At times the movie did feel cliches and kind of a bit cheesy but that’s expected. I very much enjoyed the fact his family were depicted as very loving, and his homosexuality was not really any kind of prominent factor in the plot. His family were very accepting. This was a Christmas romance and the lovelorn people just happened to be gay.

The chemistry between actors was fairly good. The dialogue was okay but in my opinion it’s also what kind of let the movie down sometimes. The characters were funny at times, if not a little annoying to me personally, which I’ll go into in the next bit. It’s a pretty basic movie. You kind of know what you’re in for within fifteen minutes of watching.

I give it a 5/10

Some thoughts on the movie (with some spoilers)

I went into this movie not really knowing anything. It starts out showing Peter has a pretty good relationship with Tim and that he lives with his best friend, Nick. They have a great friendship. Nick makes a lot of his money doing Taskrabbit jobs, but he is also coasting on money he made from writing children’s book.

So, when Nick does a Taskrabbit job and finds out that Tim is in fact married and Peter is the “other man”, he tells Peter, and Peter immediately breaks up with Tim. Props to Peter for not even entertaining the idea of carrying the relationship on.

Now, this movie has one of my favourite tropes so I’m a little biased. Because Peter knows his family are judgemental about his love life, he asks Nick to pretend to be his boyfriend for the upcoming Christmas. Pretending to be a significant other is a trope I like and it’s dumb. I also quite like friends to lovers stories so this movie hit that nail on the head for me, too.

Nick is reluctant because he does not have good associated memories with Christmas thanks to his mother’s death, but he ends up going anyway.

It’s clear straight away that Peter’s family know Nick very well and vice versa. This is one of the things I loved about this movie. The family is wholly accepting of Peter and his homosexuality isn’t something that’s really focused on. It is just fucking wholesome.

The only thing that kind of jarred me was just how MUCH Peter’s family were invested in his love life, to the point where his mother actually arranges a blind date for him. Now, at this point I found myself watching the movie with narrowed eyes, growing ever more conscious of the focus on his love life. Also on Christmas, especially where his mother was concerned. I was watching the movie with my girlfriend and when I mentioned how odd this was to me, she paused the movie, and we had a conversation about it. She assured me that as insane as it seemed to me, a lot of families ARE like that, and a lot of families do get very hyper-focused on Christmas traditions, even down to the tree.

So, I guess this is just a cultural disconnect I have since I grew up not really seeing Christmas as anything but family time. After that conversation I just went with Peter’s family being odd (to my eyes) and decided not to question it.

Nick convinces Peter to go on the blind date.

The rest of the movie is witnessing Peter getting on with this blind date man, called James (played by Luke Macfarlane). He has roughly three dates with him, I think. James loves the town, and on their first date, Peter gets him to help with choosing a Christmas tree to replace the fake one his mother has decided to put up this year. Side note, that’s kind of a dick move on Peter’s part. It’s his mother’s house and it’s her tree.

Anyway, while this goes on, Nick spends time doing things with Peter’s family and Peter’s nieces become convinced that Nick is meant to be with Peter, not anyone else.

There’s a point in the movie where Peter’s father, Harold, points out that Peter has only ever brought one man home to introduce to the family, and that is Nick. It’s heavily implied that Harold also believes Nick is the one for Peter.

At one point Peter is telling Nick about one of his dates with James, while the family watches from the living room through the window, and we get the other part of Peter’s struggle coming to prominence where he talks about how much he misses being around his family. Nick tells him maybe he should move back, and Peter seriously considers it.

But also, what the fuck, Peter? If you miss your family so much, why are you galivanting around town with James? Just tell the guy you’ll date him some other time and actually spend some time with your family. This particular struggle Peter is having feels very artificial considering he is actually in his hometown and has the opportunity to do things with his family, but he isn’t. That’s just silly, no?

It’s clear that Peter contemplating a move back home bothers Nick. And it also makes Peter realise the only real reason he has for being in LA is Nick.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. Peter’s aunt Sandy, played by Jennifer Coolidge is doing a pageant she does every year as a director. Peter and Nick help, through the machinations of one of the other family members, to ensure they will be forced to spend time together.

Then Peter’s boss calls up and says he needs a new ad campaign in one day (that’s ridiculous). Peter takes pictures of Nick in a montage. They share a moment. It’s interrupted by James texting about meeting up for a drink and Nick encourages Peter to go.

Peter’s nieces ask their mother to mess up Peter’s date with James. Again, stupid. Why? Stop interfering. Gah! But after all that, the nieces confront Nick and get him to confess he is in love with Peter.

We have a moment where we realise Peter doesn’t see James in the same way as he sees Nick when he takes pictures of James for the ad campaign. The same picture pose that triggered a moment for Peter and Nick, does not do it for Peter and James.

The nieces confront Peter about his feelings for Nick and he admits that in the past he has had feelings but is too scared to do anything in case it messes up the friendship.

The movie is predictable from this point on. The nieces tell Nick that Peter has a thing for him. On the night of the pageant James sees Peter put his arm around Nick as they watch from somewhere else. There’s a conversation between Peter and Nick about how they feel and about how Peter wants to move back home and is afraid of losing Nick. James shows up.

Anyways, there’s some sort of misunderstanding and the movie ends up with Nick and Peter together. It’s quite lovely and it does end with quite a big gesture for Peter from Nick.

This is a very formulaic movie. There’s not much else to say about it.  The cast is pretty good. The acting is fine, the chemistry is passable. I’ve seen much worse movies and I’ve seen much better movies. This is pretty much middle of the road Christmas fare with the added bonus of having an LGBT relationship and friendship presented with a very good normal framing of both things. I mostly enjoyed the setting and a bit of how kind of weird the family seemed to me, but this is a movie that you can just cruise through without thinking too hard about it.

Yeah, it’s an easy 5/10, really.

Zen Wick has a passion for writing sci-fi and low fantasy, as well as the occasional crack fiction. He loves video games, art and procrastination. Will occasionally think about Big Topics.

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