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Home»Features»Holiday Streams: What Michael Urie starrer Single All the Way gets right as a queer love story centered on Christmas»

Holiday Streams: What Michael Urie starrer Single All the Way gets right as a queer love story centered on Christmas

The holiday-themed romantic comedy is directed by Michael Mayer and also features Philemon Chambers, Luke Macfarlane, Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Robertson,Jennifer Coolidge, Madison Brydges and Alexandra Beaton, among others.

Holiday Streams: What Michael Urie starrer Single All the Way gets right as a queer love story centered on Christmas

  • Shilpa S

Last Updated: 01.22 PM, Dec 09, 2021


Christmas is around the corner and tis’ the perfect season to lay back all bundled up and enjoy a holiday-themed rom-com. So why not choose Single All the Way, a new romantic comedy with its story centered around Christmas time. But why this one, you ask? The film is a holiday-themed romantic comedy about friendships, family and love, but one with a queer love story at its crux. The movie does a great job at subverting a lot of the commonly made fumblings filmmakers do when trying to tell queer stories.

The story is simple - two gay best friends, one of them perpetually single; and the other, charming, charismatic and of course, conveniently single as well. When the former has to go home for the holidays and dreads facing his family on the heels of another failed relationship, he asks his best friend to accompany him home and pretend they are partners to get his family off his back.

But even with a formulaic story, Single All the Way works for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

Not centering the story around the trauma of coming out of the closet

For the longest time, any film with an LGBTQ+ protagonist focussed on the trials and tribulations, a queer individual has to face when they ‘come out of the closet’. Arguably, coming out is a very important and meaningful part of a queer person’s journey; it can be tumultuous and scary especially when the person in question is uncertain about the reactions they’ll be met with. But queer people are not just about their coming out stories. They have layered lives and identities, which for the most part are blissfully ignored by filmmakers who choose to double down on the coming-out narrative. And of course, many may feel the drama that accompanies the process may make for good television, even if it is a hard watch for those who can personally identify with it.

But Single All the Way is a breath of fresh air in that it completely passes over that, choosing instead to focus on the other equally aspects of a queer person’s story. And the film proved that you can have fleshed out, authentic queer characters even without having to depict the trauma of coming out.

Normalising queer love stories

The beauty and charm of queer love stories often get lost in LGBTQ+ films, as more often than not, tragedy and trauma of their lives take centre stage. Single All the Way does not only depict a heartwarming love story, but it also does it in a way that is not preachy or idealistic. It is just a simple tale of two people in love, and in its simplicity, it does more for normalising queer love that is sure to strike a chord with the LGBTQ+ community.

Staying clear of LGBTQ+ stereotypes

In a lot of films featuring queer characters, it is painfully aware which one of them is queer. Filmmakers tend to write queer characters in a very exaggerated way, taking every gay stereotype they know and cranking it up to a hundred. Prominent hand gestures, having expert fashion sense (and opposite if the character is a lesbian), always having a witty comeback (re: the gay best friend whose punchline is ‘slay queen’) - these have become the holy grail for filmmakers when writing queer characters. Single All the Way does a great job of staying clear of these very harmful stereotypes, never once pigeonholing its characters or making them two dimensional.

Impeccable performances by the cast, and never over the top

Single All the Way features a stellar cast who put up very authentic portrayals of the characters. Be it the loving, pushy family; the best friends who are painfully oblivious of how good they are together; or the poor young man who exists only as a tool for the oblivious lovers to get the nudge they need to confess their feelings for each other; each character is played beautifully by the actors. And they never resort to over-the-top portrayals of queer people that are generally seen in films.

A happy, albeit predictable, ending

If you’ve seen a fair share of movies involving a queer love story, or a queer storyline in general, you might be familiar with the age-old ‘burying the gays’ trope common in most of them. The trope refers to filmmakers' usual practice of ending a queer character's story in tragedy, usually with their death. The trope may either exist to further the storyline of the protagonist or as is the case many times, for no reason at all. Well, Single All the Way’s ending is, spoiler alert, as happy as it can be. Sure, it hits all the cliches when it comes to Christmas rom-coms and sometimes, the story does get very cheesy. But hey, a little cheese is part and parcel of holiday theme stories and it just adds to the charm of the overall film.