Together Together


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Together Together
"If the phrase "it's nice to be nice" took on film form, it would probably look a lot like Together Together." | Photo: Tiffany Roohani

If the phrase "it's nice to be nice" took on film form, it would probably look a lot like Together Together. The latest film from Nicole Beckwith (Stockholm, Pennsylvania) has a sweet little heart, even if it is more likely to generate the occasional wry smile than belly laughs. It shares a similarly cheerfully progressive outlook to New Zealand pregnancy comedy Baby Done and, like that film, benefits enormously from its strong female lead performance.

Patti Harrison should find herself getting a lot more film work after her impressive turn as Anna, a young woman who has been hired by 40-something Matt (Ed Helms) to be the surrogate mum of his first child. Unusually for films about surrogacy, Matt is straight and single, while Anna is not conflicted about her decision to offer the services of her womb for a few months. The film is, instead, built upon the platonic friendship that grows between them as the months wear on, which is all very pleasant if a bit forgettable.

The pair bond over episodes of Friends while grappling with minor conflicts concerning who has rights over the unborn "Lamp" - the gender-neutral nickname they agree upon for the baby - but Nicole Beckwith is so concerned with focusing on the light element of all this that there's barely any heat at all.

Anna has some minor hang-ups with her family as a result of dropping out of college when she was previously pregnant but everything about Matt is the emotional equivalent of beige. His chief character trait, other than his ticking biological clock, seems to be that he's a bit of a worry-wart, but then, what expectant father isn't?

The supporting performances add a bit of spark, particularly Sufe Bradshaw, as an ultrasound medic, who offers a dose of sarcasm and side-eye with every scan, but each one secondary role is carefully chosen to represent a single thing - acidic medic (Bradshaw), sharp-witted work colleague (Julio Torres), non-committal therapist (Tig Notaro)

Beyond the simplistic characters, all too often Beckwith sets up nice ideas - like Anna feeling like little more than a womb on view at a baby shower - without interrogating them much. It is, indeed nice to be nice - and there's certainly nothing here to be nasty about - but given the situation so pregnant with possibilities, it's a pity the end result feels so bland.

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2021
Share this with others on...
When young loner Anna is hired as the surrogate for Matt, a single man in his 40s, the two strangers come to realise this unexpected relationship will quickly challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love.

Director: Nikole Beckwith

Writer: Nikole Beckwith

Starring: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Tig Notaro, Julio Torres, Anna Konkle

Year: 2021

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: US


Sundance 2021

Search database:

If you like this, try:

Baby Done