Ed Helms and Patti Harrison have such singular chemistry in the new film “Together Together” that one might assume that they have known each other for years. Not so, they both said when speaking about the film.
“I knew of him,” said Harrison over video chat, eliciting perhaps the hint of a smile from her co-star, who is known for his time on “The Daily Show” as well as “The Hangover” films and “The Office.”
“Patty and I found that dynamic and that comfort level very quickly and easily,” he said.
It’s good they synched in quickly, as they had less than a month for production on “Together Together,” written and directed by Nikole Beckwith (“Stockholm, Pennsylvania”). Helms stars as Matt, a middle-aged man who never had a family, and now years to have a child of his own. Harrison is Anna, a much younger woman who agrees to be the surrogate mother.
Matt and Anna are not together, nor “together together,” as the title teases, but as the time for the birth approaches, they find they do in fact share an unexpected bond. It’s not romantic nor precisely platonic, and the two actors explore the nuance of that relationship in the touching and amusing film.
“[The chemistry] you noticed was the genius of Nikole Beckwith, the writer and director,” Helms said. “Not only did she create an environment on set that was so easy for Patti and I, but there’s a certain magic that great directors have in picking people that will fit together well, and I think she nailed it.”
“We talked about specific scenes, and if we had questions,” the writer-director was there for her stars, Harrison said. “The environment felt very safe to ask questions or try [a scene] a couple of different ways.”
“Together Together” toys with a variety of emotions and even trusts the audience with an ambiguous ending. Throughout the film, Harrison and Helms are the anchors, eliciting not only laughter throughout but fashioning no small amount of pathos in the unique relationship between Matt and Anna.
Since filming in late 2019, the two actors have kept busy. Helms worked on “Rutherford Falls,” a series bowing on the Peacock streaming service April 22. Harrison has two upcoming credits according to her IMDb page.
“There was a long time in the pandemic where I was absolutely horrified to do anything,” she said, “[but] I’ve been shooting some stuff.”
“Together Together” will be in select theaters April 23rd and available for streaming May 11th