Together Together

Together Together ★★★½

Hang in there with Together Together. What may seem at first like a slender character study eventually grows into a more expansive exploration of loneliness, before ending on a perfect, powerhouse final shot. Ed Helms plays Matt, a fortysomething single man who decides to have a baby with the help of a twentysomething gestational surrogate named Anna (Patti Harrison). At first I thought Together Together was too focused on Matt’s experience, but then the film opens up to include more of Anna’s story and give space to Harrison’s terrific performance. Smart and sardonic, Anna is proud of her emotional detachment, but with sly little tells (as when she averts her eyes) Harrison suggests that her demeanor is largely a defense mechanism. Matt, meanwhile, may be taking things too seriously (he comes across as a stalker at first) and could use some of Anna’s natural chill. There’s a lovely scene, after the two of them have grown closer, where they narrow 30-some paint swatches Matt has stuck on the wall of the nursery down to one choice. With each color removed, Anna takes a small step toward acknowledging her emotional involvement, while Matt begins to relinquish a bit of control. Writer-director Nikole Beckwith scripts a number of such quiet, touching conversations, delicately performed by her nicely in-sync stars. Have no fear, Together Together never treads down a romantic path, but instead explores something more singular and complicated as far as intimacy is concerned. Gentle and wise, the movie leaves you astonished at what a miraculous—if often unremarked-upon—thing it is to be loved, as one character says, “in a boring way.”