An app developer in his 40s, Matt (Ed Helms) decides to no longer wait for a partner to become a father. Opting for surrogacy, he enlists 26-year-old Anna (Patti Harrison), and, together, they try to navigate the muddled waters of this very particular type of relationship in Nikole Beckwith’s Together Together

Portraits of surrogacy often come accompanied by questions of infertility and/or sexuality but, here, there is no biological clock or deeper explorations of romantic relationships. What Matt hears ticking is his own internal timer, a yearning for a child that desperately needs addressing. If the concept is interesting, the app developer’s mission to educate everyone around him is a bit too on the nose. Aware of the unusual situation, every interaction becomes an opportunity to deconstruct classic notions of family-building – it is, at times, quite tiresome, especially coming from this very privileged white man. 

Anna, on the other hand, travels a much steadier, better-rounded path. Calloused by a history of family grievances, the young woman has a much deeper understanding of the business nature of what is, ultimately, a very intimate, emotional transaction. “Sometimes things just don’t work out”, she utters with a sigh, pondering on how a bond deemed sacred by society can, at times, hurt more than it can heal. 

Together Together briefly stumbles when it tries to deviate from comedy to romcom, but it eventually finds its way again when it allows Anna to take the wheel, uncovering – and demanding – what works best for her, instead of being swept away by the (very Helms-ish) annoying yet tenderhearted Matt. Banking on long, awkward silences as a comedic device while also delivering earnest vulnerability, Beckwith builds a charming take on surrogacy that is crowned by the poignancy of its ending. It is as endearing as it is effective.



CAST: Patti Harrison, Ed Helms, Tig Notaro

DIRECTOR: Nikole Beckwith

WRITER: Nikole Beckwith

SYNOPSIS: A 40-year-old man hires a young woman and their relationship challenges their perceptions of love.