And that’s an amazing thing. 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.
Slowly but surely the queer holiday movie catalog is building. Last year gave us Happiest Season and The Christmas Setup, and this year Single All the Way joins the party. I can’t wait to watch it every year—gay apparel donned, having fully learned the aforementioned “My Only Wish (This Year)” choreo.
Single All the Way is now streaming on Netflix.