“Together Together” is a respectable attempt at understated comedy (or is it quirky comedy or dramaedy?). It seems to be unabashedly more of a mildly amusing film in search of, or without need of, a genre label or purpose. Anna (Patti Harrison) is a 20-something gestational surrogate for middle-aged, single Matt, played by Ed Helms. While Matt is excited at the prospects for fatherhood, and by nature is a kind and friendly average guy that works in tech, Anna has more of an aloof personality and decidedly unimpressed with the whole surrogacy process. Much of the film is a reflection of these opposite personalities responding, or not, to this major life adjustment. Matt sees the pregnancy as a wonderful opportunity not only to become a father, but also to develop a new friendship with his surrogate. Anna views the whole situation as a job to be completed before she goes to grad school, not an experience, and Matt as a bit of a nuisance.
Over the nine months of their “togetherness,” there is a shift in their relationship and a special connection prevails. The shift is done subtlety and sweetly, with no broad comedy tactics enlisted or multiple major pop music montages. While on one hand it is commendable that writer/director Nicole Beckwith uses restraint, on the other hand, it is almost too subtle. In the end, platonic love and alternative families win, but the journey there is underwhelming. This in large part due to the sweet, yet lackluster performance by Helms and awkward portrayal by Harrison, both working with a tedious script. Despite that and not surprising, “Together Together” was the indie darling at the Sundance Film Festival (2021), so no doubt it will find its audience beyond film festival “gemdon”- charming some, boring others, but offending no one. Let’s face it, during these pandemic days of dwindling content, we’re all looking and hoping for film connections of any kind.