Netflixable? Gay, back home in New Hampshire and “Single all the Way”

So I guess this year’s gay Christmas rom-com doesn’t have Kristen Stewart in it?

“Single All the Way” is a “Home for the Holidays” rom-com that’s “rom” enough, but entirely too safe to be anything other than Hallmark Channel fodder in the rom or com department.

A gay romance that pulls a TV-PG rating? Jerry Falwell must be fuming…in Hell.

Aside from “How far this country’s strolled down that Road to Tolerance” feeling, there isn’t much to this. But it has its moments and is perfectly PG in all the usual rom-com ways.

By that, I mean there’s a Britney dance and lip-sync scene, and Jennifer Coolidge shows up.

Michael Urie stars as Peter, an LA casting director/producer of ad campaigns for razors and such, summoned home for the holidays, to East Bridge or Bridgeport, New Hampshire, where his family lives, runs a very PG-rated bar and celebrates the Dickens out of Christmas every December.

Mom (Kathy Najimy of “Sister Act”) goes by “Christmas Carol” all season long.

Dad (Barry Bostwick) is such a tuned-out senior he’s never even heard of HGTV.

“Homosexual Gay TV Network?”

“Basically.”

“It’s not porn, is it?”

“Kinda.”

Peter was planning on bringing a beau home, but SOMEone turned out to be married and to have never told his wife who his sidepiece was. To save face, Peter talks his best-friend/roommate, children’s book-author and “Task Rabbit” on-call handyman Nick (Philemon Chambers) into traveling with him. His family adores Nick. He’s”a 10. And Peter’s a New HAMPSHIRE 10.”

Yes, they love and accept their “out” son, but the fact he can’t make a match that takes means “I’m this problem they have to solve.” And again, they adore Nick.

“Christmas Carol?” She’s arranged a blind date with the exercise coach/ski instructor hunk James (Luke Macfarlane), aka The Only Gay (Mom knows) in the Village.

“They” means EVERYbody — Dad, who gives Nick advice on who he should be with (Peter), siblings, nephews and nieces, all of whom conspire to make this Nick thing happen.

Aunt Sandy, played by the brassy Coolidge, is a theater type coming home to direct the local Christmas pageant, which she’s given the happy title “Jesus H. Christ.” She might need some help.

“All the world’s a stage, and most of us are desperately under-rehearsed!”

So Peter’s family is match-making, Peter is clicking with James on a date or two, there’s Christmas decorating and a show to rehearse. And Peter and Nick need to be thrown together to help Aunt Sandy save the show. Because, you know, they’re gay and it’s theater.

Yes, there are jokes about that and how nobody should leap to that conclusion. But come on, if the stereotype fits…

There’s a funny line here and there. Peter, for instance, keeps getting mid-date messages about all the stuff he’s missing by not being at home with the family. And Nick.

“You have FOMO,” James diagnoses.

“I DO. I’m a FOMOsexual!”

But this is pretty thin entertainment, just gay and funny enough for the heartland, a bit of an eye-roller for anyone not stuck in 2005. Even Coolidge can’t save it, and that’s saying something.

Rating: TV-PG

Cast. Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers, Luke Macfarlane, Barry Bostwick, Kathy Najimy and Jennifer Coolidge.

Credits: Directed by Michael Mayer, scripted by Chad Hodge. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:42

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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