Nikole Beckwith’s “Together Together” has all the trappings of your basic rom-com, but it takes a decidedly nonromantic approach to such timeless material. A hit out of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the movie stars Ed Helms as a single 40-year-old man named Matt who, out of luck in love, hires Anna (Patti Harrison) as the surrogate to father his child. While Matt is eager to welcome his newborn baby into the world, Anna isn’t so keen on the prospect of pregnancy. Bleecker Street Films releases “Together Together” in theaters April 23. Watch the trailer below.
At the Sundance Film Festival, Beckwith told IndieWire, “A lot of surrogacy movies there’s this dour, sad, ominous thing of, like, ‘I can’t believe I have to give up this baby.’ I think that’s also really connected to the way we view women as ‘women are meant to be mothers’ and deeply identify with that all the time. We don’t talk about a male biological clock ever. It exists. Men want to be dads. I just wanted to tell a kind of positive story that divorces us from this idea of the all-encompassing female biological clock and leans more into the nuance of that.”
“Together Together” marks Beckwith’s second feature as a director following 2015’s “Stockholm, Pennsylvania,” and it also signals a star-making turn for comedian Harrison. As IndieWire’s Jude Dry pointed out at Sundance, Harrison is a trans actress, but “the fact is completely inconsequential to the movie. The obvious next step towards more inclusive casting is trans actors playing cis roles, and there can be no doubt that Harrison is playing a cis character in ‘Together Together.'”
Helms’ character is much more of a somber dude compared to the slapstick-prone men he’s played in films like “The Hangover” series and the TV show “The Office.” “What people associate me with by default,” Helms said. “For a long time all I wanted to do was big ridiculous comedy. It’s why I got into show business… I’ve been so lucky to do that at a high level for quite a while, and I’m finding this very organic urge to spread my wings a little bit and do something different.”
Written by Beckwith, the film also stars a cast of comic actors you may recognize from TV and beyond: Tig Notaro, Julio Torres, Anna Konkle, Timm Sharp, Evan Jonigkeit, Rosalind Chao, Sufe Bradshaw, Greta Titelman, Nora Dunn, and Fred Melamed.