There are several smallish, independent comedies that see release each year, many centering on relationships. But none quite operate like the new gem "Together Together," about a man and a woman who need each other, just not in the way you might think.
Ed Helms is a great actor when he is playing a certain kind of character. Who knows, he might just be a great actor great actor, but he's just never been given the chance to show his chops beyond his nerdy, slightly snobbish persona. In this case, he perfects every previous version of the character type and bakes them all into Matt, a middle-aged man who is determined to be a father. He just plans to skip that whole step of having one with a woman he knows or even cares about, so he signs up for a surrogate mother to carry his future child.
That surrogate ends up being Anna, played by actress/writer Patti Harrison in an absolute break-out role (previously, she was a staff writer on the animated "Big Mouth," appeared in 2018's "A Simple Favor" and on the TV series "Shrill," and who has done several guest spots on other TV shows). Anna has given up a child before, and comes from a less-than-ideal situation herself. Matt and Anna are polar opposites, but in ways that end up complimenting each other.
But while the plot is about Matt's quest for fatherhood, this is a film that ends up being much more about Anna, and all women really, and the expectations that are placed on them during the various stages of their lives. It also breaks down barriers and shows characters that we've never really scene explored before (that excludes the presence of the stereotypical gay best friend, played by Julio Torres, who provides sharp lines of comedy and who feels like a blatant misstep for a movie so forward-thinking in other ways).
Perhaps most importantly of all, "Together Together" seems to have a lot to say about its subjects. That, combined with the winning duo of Helms and Harrison, make this one of the early, pleasant surprises of 2021, a film that even has a chance at being remembered...I mean, remembered remembered...as one of the better films when we look at that sort of thing later in the year.
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Starring: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Rosalind Chao, Fred Melamed, Nora Dunn, Tig Notaro, Timm Sharp, Bianca Lopez.
Written and Directed by Nikole Beckwith ("Stockholm, Pennsylvania").
"Together Together" is in theaters on Friday, April 23rd, 2021.
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