The beauty of childbirth receives a heartfelt spin in Bleecker Street Media’s Together Together from director Nikole Beckwith. The film opens up with an introduction to young loner Anna (Patti Harrison) as she interviews to become the gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s by the name of Matt (Ed Helms). Naturally, over time, the two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries, and the particulars of love.
One of the first things that I want to point out is that Nikole Beckwith’s script does not fall into the romantic comedy template you would expect from a film like this. Instead, Together Together is more concerned with focusing on Anna and Matt and their blossoming friendship as they learn about each other. Nikole Beckwith’s script for Together Together is very dialogue-driven, yet the film is never mundane or overly preachy. A particularly enlightening moment occurs early in the movie when Anna and Matt are at dinner.
Matt gives Anna the side-eye when she orders a particular dish that Matt fills is unhealthy for a woman with child. However, Anna counters with the abundance of red meat Matt is eating at his age while he is supposed to be preparing to become a dad. The moment is natural between Patti Harrison and Ed Helms and even opened up my eyes to my eating habits as I approach the age of forty. As viewers might expect, there is a moment where Matt questions Anna and her carefree lifestyle when it comes to physical intimacy. Once again, the script never paints Matt as the jealous type or a blocker; instead, the script shows us a blend of Matt’s emotions. While Matt wants the best for his baby, he is out of touch dealing with women. Now that I think about it, with most of the female characters in the film Matt drops the ball in terms of communication.
I was not familiar with Patti Harrison’s television work, so seeing a fresh face in the lead role allowed me to root for her character a bit. Harrison brings a humanized nuance to the role. There was never a moment in the film where I questioned Anna’s choices, and I fully understand why she wanted to be a surrogate. In the role of our male lead, Ed Helms downplays his meek trademark and never paints Matt as weak. On the contrary, Helms portrays the role as a man who has his own problems and realizes that this is the last chance he has to have a child.
If there is one issue I had with Together Together, it is the lack of a backstory for Matt. Ed Helms has a great monologue where he discusses his past, but I would have loved to have seen a photo or even a cameo of Matt’s former love. Regardless though, Together Together is a sweet and heartfelt film. Nikole Beckwith keeps the film under ninety minutes and avoids clichés.
I look forward to seeing what she does with her next film, but until then, I highly recommend Together Together.
Final Grade: B+
Together Together opens in theaters today