Sundance 2021: 'Together Together'
Together, Together premiered in the U.S. Dramatic category. Barb Bretz has this review:
I loved this very, very different take on friendship, fatherhood, surrogacy, love and family. Writer/Director Nikole Beckwith wanted to accomplish several things with this story. She wanted to acknowledge the male biological clock. She wanted to establish the fact that relationships, even love relationships, do not have to be permanent to have value and she wanted to celebrate platonic love. She said, “I think romantic love takes up a lot of real estate in the stories that we tell and that’s bad.”
Her desire to totally change the landscape of love really worked in this unique telling of the making of a family and she did it with a script that was funny, smart and sensitive.
Casting was perfect! Matt (Ed Helms) a single, financially independent app designer and Anna (Patti Harrison) a smart but struggling young lady, hoping to get her college career back on track, are strangers bound together by a legal surrogacy contract but discover themselves navigating the challenges of setting or ignoring boundaries and the permanence, or not, of their connection.
Both Helms and Harrison come from the world of comedy which gives them incredible timing and synchronicity in creating authentic chemistry between unlikely partners or even friends. Their therapist, who had a small but very staid and grounded role, was played by comedian, Tig Notaro. The very comfortable and fun relationship between the director and all three of these actors was very evident in the lively, and at times, irreverent interactions during the Zoom Q & A. Helms and Harrison also commented about the solid script and their desire to portray characters much different from any they’d done before.
The story was full of gentle and poignant surprises along the way as it addressed and often pushed aside typical societal judgments and assumptions. The ending might be controversial to some but the director said there was never a doubt of what it would be. I thought it was perfect but I had fallen so in love with Matt and Anna that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to them.
Congrats to this cast and crew for a job well done!
For KPCW, this is Barb Bretz.