Nikole Beckwith's Together Together is a touching and emotional film that is anchored by undeniable chemistry between its two leads, Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. Together (together ha!), the two bring charm and sincerity to their organic on-screen relationship, which feels wasted and unfulfilled once the film reaches its abrupt ending.
Nikole Beckwith‘s Together Together is a drama about a single man (Ed Helms) that is using a surrogate mother (Patti Harrison) to bring a child into this world. The film captures their initial interaction, all the way up until the birth of the child. As a drama, Together Together excels because of its two leads and the chemistry they share, while Beckwith’s writing and directing feels like it’s coming from a sincere and fragile place, capturing the emotional ups and downs as two humans are drawn closer in friendship as they continue on their journey.
Matt (Ed Helms) is a single man that’s reaching that point in his life where he doesn’t believe a long-term relationship is going to happen and if so, meeting a woman his age means the high chance of being unable to have a child together. This hasn’t stopped him from wanting a child, which is why he has hired Anna (Patti Harrison) to be his surrogate mother, in which she has agreed to carry the child until birth and then hand the child over to Matt to start his new life and family.
This arrangement brings Matt and Anna close as Matt insists on being heavily involved in the baby’s upbringing and start of life, which means getting close to Anna and creating a friendship that is a bit complicated, as the two did not know each other before this agreement was made and don’t plan on having any sort of romantic relationship or connection.
Anna is using this opportunity to earn a little cash, which might help her pay for college and to help out someone that clearly wants a child to call their own.
It’s a noble cause for Anna and an opportunity of a lifetime for Matt.
Together Together captures the awkward relationship between two people drawn closer together in a time of their lives that they’ve never felt more alone or distant from the rest of the world.
Matt is cutoff from the dating scene and doesn’t think any sort of relationship is on the horizon, while Anna is single and without many friends or family. Together, they make for a great friendship, full of perspective and optimism as they both are attempting to better their lives with the miracle of life and bringing a new baby into the world.
Writer/director Nikole Beckwith strikes gold with her two leads, Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. Both Helms and Harrison share a chemistry that feels authentic and organic, making the film’s focus their relationship and the rocky road ahead of them.
Helms injects his comedic charm into a role that requires a balance of comedy and drama and Helms excels without issue. He gives a layered performance that feels like a career-highlight here, capturing that past-his-prime, yet hopeful and excited feel that blends well with his comedy without ever coming off as stupid or desperate. You genuinely feel for Matt throughout this film and hope that it all works out for him, despite his quirks and early signs of over-parenting. This works so well because everything he says or does comes from a place of love and he brings very little judgment to the situation.
Likewise, Patti Harrison doubles down as a mid-twenties independent woman both trying to better herself and help someone clearly in need. I went into this film unfamiliar with the actress and now I’m already looking forward to seeing her next one as she brings a level of responsibility and confidence to the role that feels foreign given the plot of the film.
Anna is full of experience and a complicated past, despite being the younger of the two and yet she powers on and continues to help Matt, even when things get tough and odd and uncomfortable for her. She also has her own goals and dreams that extend beyond the pregnancy and birth and watching everything align is a real treat.
Helms and Harrison’s on-screen compatibility and overall relationship make this film an indie darling that’s more likable than it isn’t, despite the film abruptly ending in such a weird place. Emotionally, it disconnects you from the overall journey and thematically, it doesn’t make much sense as there’s no real conclusion.
At least, that’s how I felt.
I’m not sure why Nikole Beckwith decided it was a good idea to end the film on a cold note, failing to provide closure to her characters and short-changing the progression of the film’s core relationship, which is again, the main reason that this film works at all.
Together Together is a performance-driven drama that’s sprinkled with comedy and made all the better because of its lead performers. Director Nikole Beckwith captures lightening in a bottle with Helms and Harrison and sadly wastes it on a non-ending that leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. I enjoyed 3/4ths of this film without question, but the ending significantly ruins the overall impact and pushes this one from being a good movie to just an okay movie, that lacks a finale, thus crippling the good graces it earned leading up to this point.