‘Tis the season for cute and cheesy holiday films, and Netflix’s first LGBTQ holiday rom-com, Single All The Way, is so charming and fun.
We’d highly recommend adding this one to your holiday movie list since it follows a fun movie trope of two best friends pretending they’re dating and then realizing they’re actually might be something more. Still, it’s done in a refreshing new way.
With an over-involved family, a hilarious Christmas pageant, three hunky men, and fun Christmas carols, this holiday rom-com will have you smiling from beginning to end.
TV Fanatic chatted with Philemon Chambers, who played Nick, about how the movie stayed so authentic, how he enjoyed working with such a large family, and the fun rapport between the cast.
In recent years, the Hallmark Channel and Hulu have made holiday LGBTQ films, but Single All The Way felt different. There was an authentic charm and connection between all three men.
Peter(Michael Urie) felt relatable that he wanted to not be the only single one in the family, so he begged his best friend Nick(Philemon Chambers) to come home for the holidays and pretend to be his boyfriend.
His family had other ideas. His mom Carol (Kathy Najimy) sets him up on a blind date with her hunky trainer James (Luke McFarlane) but has Peter’s true love been standing before him for the last decade?
Single All The Way shines partly because of its three handsome and talented male leads, but the cast that plays Peter’s over-involved family makes you laugh. Kathy Najimy as Peter’s mom, and Jennifer Coolidge, who plays Aunt Sandy, beautifully balance humor and family acceptance.
Aunt Sandy hosts the children’s Christmas pageant, and after her hilarious tirade, Peter and Nick must save the day.
While it’s humorous and charming, at its’ core, Single All The Way is about unconditional love and finding yourself, which Chambers repeatedly reiterated throughout our interview.
Philemon Chambers(Nick) explained why the film felt so authentic. He revealed that the executive producer and writer Chad Hodge was gay, and our director Michael Mayer was also gay. He, Michael Urie, and Luke Macfarlane are all gay.
“Chad Hodge, Michael Mayer, and Joe Rice involved me in the development of Nick because Nick is a black gay character, and they wanted to make sure that it was authentic as possible. It was important because you didn’t have heterosexual people trying to figure out these things. You had gay characters and gay people being told authentically.
He asked me questions, making sure things made sense or looked authentic, even down to my wardrobe. He asked what I would wear in certain scenes, so I was very involved, very hands-on.” Chambers admitted the script was one of the most refreshing reads h had ever read.
“When you see these gay characters portrayed, it is usually from a very stereotypical standpoint. There is some homophobia involved, and there was none of that.”
“It was unconditional love from the family side of them wanting their son to be happy and be in a relationship and not run away from love, and that was so refreshing. That is what caught my eye because it was something new. It was something that hasn’t been done before.”
Single All The Way differs from many other romantic movies because there is no villain in this love triangle. While we don’t want to spoil anything, both Nick and James were handsome and kind-hearted men with who Peter would’ve been lucky to end up with.
Chambers appreciated that analysis and said it was an homage to Chad’s writing. There is no villain in this. “It is pure love. It is unconditional love. Many people throw around the word love, but they don’t use it properly.
Peter has this moment with James, and James sees that interaction between Nick and Peter, and James wants Peter to be happy. Nick wants Peter to be happy. At the end of the day, it is just Peter choosing what his happiness is.”
Part of the charm of Single All The Way was Peter’s over-involved family. They all had an opinion, whether the mom was trying to set Peter up with James or the dad and the nieces’ matchmaking to get Peter and Nick together.
Chambers appreciated Peter’s beautiful big family. “Not only did you see the family’s unconditional love towards the son and accepting him, but you saw them accepting not only James but also Nick. You see that from a non-judgmental standpoint. People are people, love regardless.
The nieces wanted me to get with Peter. They did a lot of things. I got stuck on a roof until I listened to them.”
Chambers loved the family dynamic and found it a breath of fresh air. “The family is so involved, and they’re trying to convince the mom what’s going on here. As the older sister says, Nick and Peter want to make out. They should make out. Nick’s a ten and Peter’s a ten.”
It’s so funny. When you remove its homophobia, you have so much room to play, which is what Chad did. He played around with everything. But again, the family dynamic is just absolutely unique.”
Chambers shared that he and his castmates built an excellent rapport. He shared that they filmed in Montreal and were under strict covid restrictions. They only had 15 minutes a day to be within three feet of each other.
That wasn’t easy with these intimate scenes and how many people were in the scenes, and sometimes we couldn’t be within six feet of somebody.
He said they built a family bond and shared one of his favorite memories with me. “I was watching the original Planet of the Apes upstairs in our Green Room, which was our bedroom at the time when we were filming in the house. Everyone kept asking what I was watching.
So I put it on my iPad, and Michael Urie, Kathy Najimy, Jennifer Coolidge, Jennifer Robertson, Barry Bostwick, and I all watched Planet of the Apes together.
It was such a moment for me because we were such a big family. We were in that room on the bed and chairs just watching the film. It was entertaining. “
Chambers shared while he has no intel, he would like to do a Single All The Way sequel where Nick and Peter visit Nick’s family and hilarity ensues.
Chambers loves the holidays and holiday classic films, such as the Grinch. “I love the Grinch. The Grinch is one of my all-time favorites because Jim Carrey’s performance was amazing, and the Faith Hill song, “Where Are You Christmas?” is lovely. I watch that every year.
Besides that, I love The Nightmare before Christmas. It fits for Halloween and Christmas. I also enjoy Jack Frost and, no pun intended, Jingle All The Way one and two. I love the classics like Miracle on 34th Street, The Nutcracker, and Babes in Toyland. I love Christmas movies.
I also enjoyed the movie Tangerine Bear. It’s an animated Christmas movie I used to always watch as a kid. It’s about this bear having an upside-down smile and not finding somebody to love him, but it’s a Christmas movie, so he finds somebody on Christmas.”
Single All The Way is a charming addition to Netflix’s holiday rom-coms, and hopefully, there will be sequels. We think you’ll be smiling and laughing along with this holiday film.
Single All The Way is streaming now on Netflix.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.