Written by: Nikole Beckwith
Starring: Ed Helms & Patti Harrison
Conventional methods of bringing a child into this world no longer remain as the only ways to do so, which has allowed a whole host of individuals to raise newborns when not previously available. Together Together seeks to highlight an unlikely partnership in order to bring a new baby into the world and the purely platonic manner of the relationship makes it incredibly refreshing on top of it being an incredibly sweet story as well.
Matt (Ed Helms), a single man, hopes to have a child and enlists the services of a surrogate named Anna (Patti Harrison), who will carry the fetus to term. As they get closer to the baby’s arrival, the two get closer as they deal with the perception of their arrangement as opposed to what is considered standard.
Feeling very much like an independent film that would hit Sundance, Together Together conjures a beautiful level of connection between individuals. One without the pretense of romance because it happens to be between two heterosexual individuals, which makes it such a rare story. Not even a hint of it even when it deals with the two bringing a child into the world. Instead, we’re left with focusing on two individuals both separately and together and how they find comfort in each other as people more so than anything else.
The key to this film working out comes from the central dynamic working and Matt and Anna make for such vibrant characters to follow. They come with their quirks, for sure, in the way they navigate the world in front of them and the way they clash within this arrangement makes for such a sweet relationship. With no connection between them prior to the arrangement, the part of getting to know each other comes with the regular awkwardness of interactions, but adding in the reality of them bringing in a child together makes quite the obstacle. A relationship initially formed on contractual agreements of what can be done during this period certainly makes for some larger discussions.
For example, in order to protect the life of the baby, Anna is restricted from doing certain things like extreme sports among them but Matt requests to inquire whether she can engage in other casual sex with others. Certainly, an awkward conversation for them to bring up but one that reveals the values of the characters and what fills in their personalities as individuals. Their particular dynamic becomes about the little details and how it impacts the comfortability of the other. From Anna’s genuine desire to disassociate emotionally from the fetus developing in her uterus to Matt’s unreasonable demands. As they become closer the bond occurs through pure friendship and it truly becomes something beautiful.
The comedy on display in the feature showcases a level of sensitivity of the arrangement as well as poking fun at it. One of the better ones comes from the commission of an employee when they go out shopping for the future baby and someone makes an incorrect assumption of them being a couple. It definitely falls in the definition of awkward comedy but it certainly works exquisitely well because it accurately accentuates the reality and uniqueness of their particular arrangement. Even with it being a comedy, the sweetness of this film shows out as the prevailing emotion of the feature seeks to communicate. The friendship between these two comes together through a particular mission and what they craft is something so special seeing as they will be forever linked no matter if this friendship should strain in the future. It provides this warm feeling and serves as a true hug of a film.
Chemistry-wise Ed Helms and Patti Harrison knock it out of the park with their portrayals of these characters. They capture the sweetness of the story so well but Harrison stands out as the one to truly carry the heart of this story. While Matt knows exactly what he wants in life, Anna is still trying to piece things together and the way Harrison puts forth this character unveils a level of authenticity of individuals of her current age. Things have not quite worked out in the manner she would hope but at the very least this partnership will provide money. Harrison sells everything with this character in making Anna feel like a real person and I’m excited to see her in more projects moving forward.
Filled with love, comedy, and good ol’ human connection, Together Together serves as a testament to life and how bringing in a new one does not need sexual or relational entanglements. You just have two great humans trying to help each other out in this particular moment in their lives. It will provide the warm hug you need on the coldest of days and present plenty of comedy as well. Definitely a Sundance comedy in the best of ways.