Sundance 2021: “Together Together”

© Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Films like “Together Together” is not something you catch during the Sundance 2021 Virtual Film Festival as there are too many international films with heavier concepts to look forward to. However, if you are able to squeeze it in, you won’t regret watching it.

Anna (Patti Harrison) is a single 26-year-old woman who agrees to become a surrogate mother to Matt (Ed Helm). She hopes to get a college degree with the money she can get from Matt, and of course, receive a bit of good karma too. However, what was expected to be just an ordinary surrogate-intended parent relationship, turns into a sweet friendship as they try to measure their boundaries, after crossing it.

Matt is a man every woman would like to carry a child from. Not because he is ideal or he is in a perfect relationship with his partner, which is not the case. Matt is a single man and it does not look like he will change it any time soon. But by judging how caring he is towards Anna and her pregnancy, obviously, because she carries his child, he is too attentive, gentle and respectful to her situation. That quality alone makes us hopeful that after the birth of the child Matt could potentially become the best father ever.

There is a cute scene in the beginning when both Anna and Matt are interviewing each other. It’s kind of charming to realize how much they could have learned from each other, or, how they try to backtrack their own claim in a sweet way. They are both new to surrogacy and it’s obvious. This also makes them the perfect future parents, wherever that future will take them to. Newcomer Patti Harrison recreates that vulnerability in Anna, giving her everything we would wish to see in a surrogate mother. The scene when she, with a bit of hesitation, after the conclusion of the baby shower, asks Matt to restore their relationship to the one intended in their contract because she realized – she had crossed the line and so did Matt.

What is more charming about this film, even though there’s nothing ground-breaking about it, is that it offers a platonic relationship we miss so much in the cinematic universe. Having not a single kissing scene is so refreshing; it allows the characters to grow and become more personal in an incredibly special way. To be frank, that’s something we need to see more often in films. The film does not try to hurt anyone’s feeling. Very careful in telling Anna and Matt’s relationship, and what we could look forward to in their lives after the film ended.

That said, if you ask yourself, whether you need to spend your time on it or not, my answer to you – most definitely. It will provoke some laughter in you and make you emotional. There is an innocence in this film that cannot be compromised, and luckily, writer/director Nikole Beckwith not only understood it but shielded her film as if it were her own child, provide care, love and support and keep away from all the negativity it could succumb to if she would choose to write a Hollywoodish film that would certainly make it less interesting and charming than it is now.

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