Together Together premiered at virtual Sundance 2021 in the U.S. Dramatic category. It will be screened by Park City Film this weekend; May 28-30. Here’s Barb Bretz with your Friday film review.
This very different take on friendship, fatherhood, and the making of a family was one of my favorites from Sundance this year.
Writer/Director Nikole Beckwith wants to accomplish several things with this story. She wants to acknowledge the male biological clock. She wants to establish the fact that relationships, even love relationships, do not have to be permanent to have value. And since romantic love makes up the majority of love story narratives being told, she wants this project to celebrate platonic love. She does all those things with a script that is funny, smart and sensitive.
Casting is perfect! Matt, played by Ed Helms, is a single, financially-independent app designer. Anna, played by Patti Harrison, is an intelligent young lady, struggling financially and hoping to get her college career back on track. They are a couple, but not “together, together”. They are strangers bound by a legal surrogacy contract.. Navigating the obstacles is challenging. Should they set boundaries or ignore them? Will their connection going forward be temporary or permanent?
Both Helms and Harrison come from the comedy world which gives them incredible timing and the synchronicity needed to generate authentic chemistry between unlikely partners.
Their therapist, who has a small and stabilizing role, is played by comedian, Tig Notaro.
The comfortable dynamic between the director and all three actors was evident in their lively, and at times, irreverent interactions during the Sundance Zoom Q & A. Helms and Harrison both commented about the solidness of the script and their desire to portray characters much different from any they’d done before.
The story is full of gentle and poignant surprises as it addresses, and often pushes aside, typical societal judgments and assumptions. The ending may be controversial to some but the director says there was never a doubt of what it would be. I think it’s perfect but I fell so ‘in like’ with Matt and Anna, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
Together Together is rated R for some sexual content and language. It runs 1 hour and 30 touching minutes. Park City Film screens this in-person at the Jim Santy Auditorium this weekend, May 28-30. Check their website for times.
This is Barb Bretz with your Friday Film Review. See you at the movies!