TOGETHER TOGETHER – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

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Think of Nikole Beckwith’s rather off-beat and charming maternity comedy Together Together as Knocked Up for the enlightened era of wokeness. Instead of two strangers whose drunken one-night stand ends in a pregnancy, we are presented with what is known as a gestational surrogate who agrees to carry a single 40-something man’s baby so that she can finally afford to attend college.

That the performer portraying the surrogate is a trans-woman doesn’t matter in the least. If anything, it makes this tale of platonic partnership and mutual admiration work, it is Patti Harrison’s enlightened poker-face take on Anna, a single millennial woman who works as a barista is finally taking steps to pursue her delayed dreams.

As for the father-to-be, Ed Helms as tech worker Matt initially see-saws between interrogating Anna as if he hopes to catch her in a lie about her flaws and later insist on keeping tabs on her sex life as well neurotically keeping tabs on what food and beverages she is drinking. He also insists they binge-watch Friends – or as he calls it, “The Godfather of sitcoms.”

Eventually the platonic pair realizes that they both need to rely on and connect together on a more intimate plane as they attend new-age birth classes before they bring a new human into the world. That they manage to agree on what color walls the nursery – dusty blue green – is one of the first steps toward after each other’s back. They also agree on a gender-neutral name for the baby and, at least for the time being, decide on Lamp.

But matters warm up considerably as we head into the second and third trimester as the pair choose a crib and form a habit of eating candy while walking together. Upping the ante of the amusing wry factor of the script is Tig Notaro as a therapist while Julio Torres as Anna’s opinionated co-worker adds a welcome sprinkle of snark.

Together Together doesn’t fully redefine the unexpected pregnancy comedy for the 21st century, but it does take enough baby steps to upend the lazy traditions of the genre.

EDITOR’S NOTE:Together Together is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for April 23, 2021.

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Susan Wloszczyna

Susan Wloszczyna

In her nearly 30 years at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna interviewed everyone from Vincent Price and Shirley Temple to Julia Roberts and Will Smith. Her coverage specialties include animation, musicals, comedies and any film starring Hayley Mills, Sandy Dennis or hobbits. Her crowning career achievements so far, besides having Terence Stamp place his bare feet in her lap during an interview for The Limey, is convincing the paper to send her to New Zealand twice for set visits, once for The Return of the King and the other for The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong, and getting to be a zombie extra and interview George Romero in makeup on the set for Land of the Dead. Though not impressive enough for Pulitzer consideration, she also can be blamed for coining the moniker "Frat Pack," often used to describe the comedy clique that includes Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. Her positions have included Life section copy desk chief for four years and a film reviewer for 12 years. She is currently a contributor for the online awards site Gold Derby and is an Oscar expert for RogerEbert.com. Previously, she has been a freelance film reporter and critic, contributing regularly to RogerEbert.com, MPAA’s The Credits, the Washington Post, AARP The Magazine online and Indiewire as well as being a book reviewer for The Buffalo News. She previously worked as a feature editor at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y. A Buffalo native, she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Canisius College and a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.