Single All the Way

Single All the Way ★★

Netflix continue to augment their mild obsession with Christmas films helming a big city protagonist moving back to their small Northern hometown for the holidays. At this point they’re all blurring into one and Single all the Way’s late release will unfortunately amplify its forgettable nature for many. 

This has surprisingly low stakes, it’s comfortably mellow and gentle. In many ways the low stakes can benefit the film, the slapstick is minimal (and bad) and the pacing is consistent. The film is very reluctant to reinforce a pattern and maintains the characters at a level playing field. The writing isn’t intended to manoeuvre or beguile the audience, which is really quite refreshing but unfortunately not massively intriguing. The film is proudly safe, inoffensive and predictable. 

 Michael Urie is very charismatic as the protagonist, unfortunately he doesn’t find solid chemistry with either of his love interests. Neither of the potential relationships are interesting enough for the delicate storytelling to work. The storytelling is unconventional for a traditional rom-com and yet everything feels very standard and banal. The ‘leads’ are separated for most of the film and all of the materialisation of their relationship is done through separate conversations, relationships and encounters with other people. As such, by the end the climax doesn’t really feel earned. The film has some harmless fun with stereotypes and has a solid sense of location, but unfortunately underutilises Jennifer Coolidge, which many will view as the films biggest crime.

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