“Together Together” (2021) is an American comedy starring Patti Harrison and Ed Helms. It follows the entire pregnancy process of a single guy and his surrogate as they both navigate the experience and the boundaries around it.
This is the first comedy in my first run movies challenge. Coming out of a series of heavier movies and one action flick it was a nice change of pace. It again explores an interesting concept, like “The Father” (2020) did but with a lot less heaviness. Matt (Ed Helms) is a single 40-something guy that wants a family but is sick of waiting for a Ms. Right. Anna (Patti Harrison) is a single 20-something woman who is looking for money to go to college. She had a teen pregnancy that she gave up for adoption so she figured she’d be comfortable with this whole process too. They start out in a very formal and tense relationship but over time they grow into becoming friends but not more than friends. Thankfully the movie didn’t go there. In fact they spent a whole scene making fun of those tropes especially with an eviscerating, but funny, exploration of Woody Allen movies. The movie really gets going a few minutes in with a doctor visit where implantation is confirmed. It ends within a minute of the baby being born. Ironically the navigating of how their friendship would handle their wanting to stay friends but her not wanting to be in the baby’s life, at least originally. They didn’t explore that though. Maybe they will in a sequel!
While they did get a couple guffaws and chuckles out of me this is not a rip roaring hilarious movie. It’s not a romantic comedy either. Again, something I’m glad they didn’t go with since it was so obvious a plot line. I appreciated the way they explored asymmetry of expectations of men and women. The above mentioned age gap relationship thing was in one place. In another place they explored it was when they were crib shopping. The store clerk said they make a great couple. When the woman says they aren’t a couple she lets out a lamenting “aww”. When they clarify that he’s having the baby on his own and she is the surrogate she gives out an excited “aww”. That prompts Anne to ask her why it was sad for her to be a single parent but a good thing for him to be. The clerk has no answer and neither do I.
Despite some of the originality of the script and well execution I didn’t really get into the movie too much. I loved seeing some actors that I haven’t seen in awhile or that I love from other movies. Specifically:
- Nora Dunn, who I haven’t seen in ages, as Matt’s mom
- Tig Notaro, who I’ve recently become aware of from watching Star Trek: Discover, as their surrogate counselor
- Rosalind Chao, who I’ve always loved from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, as their doctor
- Sufe Bradshaw, who I loved on Veep, as their obstetrician technician.
Despite all that for some reason the movie just didn’t work for me. I can’t even put my finger on why though. Maybe it got a little bogged down in the middle. Maybe it was the abrupt transition from being really close to more distant to very close at the end again. It could just be parenthood is not something I’ve experienced or had much desire to experience. Either way I didn’t sit there thinking “my friends need to go see this!” but I wasn’t sitting there thinking “my god when will this end?” either. It’s a cute movie looking at an interesting concept but just didn’t click for me. I can easily see why others see it as a much better movie than I did. I’m scoring it 4/10.