In an era where the very genre of romantic comedies is at stake, “Alone Together” arrives just in time to fuel a nostalgic formula for the trope of early aughts enemies who become lovers.
Katie Holmes writes, directs, produces, and stars in the quaint rom-com set in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Holmes plays restaurant critic June who leaves Manhattan after being on hiatus with her boyfriend John (Derek Luke). She retreats to an upstate Airbnb, which is inconveniently double-booked by Charlie, yet another lonely heart, played by Jim Sturgess. Yet a love triangle quickly ensues as John visits the rental and tries to make his fraught relationship survive the quarantine lockdown.
“Alone Together” premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Festival, and also co-stars “Girls” alums Becky Ann Baker and Zosia Mamet, plus Melissa Leo. The film debuts July 22 from Vertical Entertainment.
“Alone Together” marks Holmes’ sophomore directorial project following the 2016 drama “All We Had.” Her third film “Rare Objects,” also starring Derek Luke, was additionally filmed during the COVID-19 lockdown under her Lafayette Pictures banner.
In my IndieWire review of “Alone Together,” I wrote that Sturgess’ character Charlie truly follows the “written by a woman” trend. “If there was a manic pixie dream man, Charlie would be it,” while citing that former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s voiceover warning of PPE shortages only interrupts June’s focus on BDE at the Airbnb.
“It’s easy to get lost in the nostalgic parts of ‘Alone Together,’ like the effortlessly picturesque Anthropologie home furnishings and stylish wardrobes of a ‘woman on the go in the Big Apple.’ It’s even easier to get lost in Jim Sturgess and Holmes’ simple yet charming banter. But don’t get too dreamy-eyed for the rom-coms of days past: the film, which premiered at Tribeca 2022, has a jarring reminder that the world is a heartbreaking place, full of death, betrayal, and traumatic loss. So goes our cute and quirky escape.
“‘Alone Together’ has the momentum of a reclamation of sorts, but the plot tries to do too much, say too much, when it really should just be about love. Who cares if it’s formulaic or not? In the middle of this pandemic, maybe being something we can rely on is a good thing.”
Check out the trailer below.
“Alone Together” premieres July 22.