Ed Helms Tackles Fatherhood and Surrogacy in ‘Together Together’

Adam Gravano

 

The promise of birth is a cherished, positive moment in many families. This prospect can pull together a family or, in some sad cases of abandonment, break one; some people gamble their relationship on it. It can even drive people, out of a sense of pride, to enact a grand destructive gesture while announcing ultrasound results.

 

In Together Together, Ed Helms plays Matt, a father who has gone hastily into the commitment of surrogate pregnancy as a seemingly soon-to-be single father. While the movie begins with Matt asking for information from Anna, the surrogate played by Patti Harrison, the information he solicits doesn't seem especially relevant to carrying a child. “Have you ever stolen anything?”

 

Helms portrays a man we can't help but cringe at as he bumbles toasts, telling his family about his plans, or being a supportive partner. He also invests seemingly trivial decisions, like the color of the nursery, with outsize importance.

 

 

Much like another alumnus of The Office, Steve Carell in The Big Short or Foxcatcher, Helms provides evidence that he's ready for roles that are more than just cheap laughs.

 

As the pregnancy progresses, so too does Matt's relationship with Anna. Tig Notaro playing a couples’ therapist is a treat. She plays a marvelous “straight man” to Matt during some of his most buffoonish moments.

 

 

While there's plenty of comic relief, this is a serious movie about what makes a parent and what makes a family, which is coming to theaters during a time of both great medical promise and socio-psychological peril.

 

For all the fuss about gender reveals destroying the forest, the relevant issue is what role a surrogate plays in the family and why it lurks in the background of prenatal woes. With New York explicitly legalizing commercial surrogacy this year, this movie is a timely salvo in discussion usually consigned to the backburner in the face of emotionally salient issues surrounding the family.

 

Author Bio:

Adam Gravano is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

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