Together Together

  • 22 May - 28 May, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

For most childless women of a certain age, regardless of whether parenthood is within their desired ambitions, the world is full of silent, often judgmental reminders about one’s diminishing chances at pregnancy. But what if, Nikole Beckwith’s film asks, all this fuss about a biological clock isn’t exclusive to women? What if a single, aging male can also feel a cavernous urge to finally recognise his paternal instincts and realise he has an internal timer of sorts, too? Perhaps an emotional one at that?

The 45-year-old San Franciscan Matt (Ed Helms) is certainly feeling that yearning movies and TV shows often solely prescribe to women: a drive to select a soothing paint colour for a nursery, to plan a cutesy baby shower accompanied by all the gushy noises of friends and family members, and ultimately, to raise a child on his own terms. An awkwardly endearing tech developer who’s made a popular dating app in the realm of Tinder, Matt has decided not to wait for the right partner to come along, but to make his fatherhood dreams come true via surrogate pregnancy instead.

Enter the poker-faced Anna (Patti Harrison), a lonesome, cynical and trendily-clad 20-something in need of the surrogacy funds to get her life back on track by pursuing an accelerated college degree. After a lovably clumsy interview, which smartly serves as the film’s opening scene and gives the audience the lowdown on these oddballs, the two decide to pair up, embarking on an adventure where friendship, intimacy and the true meaning of love intertwine in heartwarming ways.

Despite all the predictable flaws of Together Together and an array of side characters – like a hilariously stiff-upper-lipped ultrasound technician played by Sufe Bradshaw – that begs to be better developed, Beckwith puts forth something rare and full of feeling. This is a genuine love story between two straight individuals of the opposite sex that involves platonic friendship, an insightful redefinition of masculinity as well as a gentle, intimate celebration of a unique, 21st-century family in the making. Even the harshest skeptics might not be able to resist the finale – a tear-jerking sequence of childbirth, perceptively lensed in closeups by cinematographer Frank Barrera. It’s perhaps thanks to that exquisite ending that Together Together runs away with all its fancifulness tenderly and miraculously schmaltz-free.