Written and directed by lead actress Katie Holmes, two strangers embroiled in bad relationships wind up in the same upstate New York Airbnb. Also starring: Jim Sturgess, Derek Luke, Melissa Leo and Zosia Mamet.
Opening up with a heavily cheesy tune atop a montage to introduce its leading lady is a very good indicator of what’s to come with Alone Together. If you’re a romance fiend then this will scratch that itch but if you’re not and looking for something more unique and creative, you’ll quickly hit a wall with this one. The story is exactly what you’d think, two strangers thrown together and finding a strong connection, then diving headfirst into a relationship, it doesn’t have anything to offer that you won’t have already seen. It can be fairly saccharine and Homes’ character comes across as pretentious and snobby at times. At some points it starts to feel almost like a parody of itself, as it’s so stringently following the playbook. It tries to shake things up with the lockdown setting but again, they’re far from the first to do that at this point.
The directorial style from Katie Holmes is the same story, it all works perfectly well but it doesn’t have any original style or personality to add to the mix. However the location is extremely well chosen, almost something out of a Nancy Meyers movie. Although it does fall into a few holes of why such a large house only has one bathroom and other such details made to serve coincidental moments. It also raises a big question of how large of a check they received from McDonald’s because it appears an unreasonable amount of times in the film. It’s sadly just another element which pushes the commercial, forced or constructed feel to the film.
Unfortunately there isn’t much hope to be found in the performances either. The whole stuck up, well-off, white woman searching to settle down and have kids is beyond a tired trope at this point, so there isn’t much for Katie Holmes to do with it. There are a couple of details thrown in down the line which add another edge but they arrive too late and are thrown in overtly casually. Jim Sturgess gives us exactly what he’s done many times before, the grounded guy, misjudged and providing the warmth and support that Holmes’ character is missing. Derek Luke, Melissa Leo and Zosia Mamet are all great choices with plenty to add but don’t get much opportunity to do so.
Alone Together is exactly what you think it’s going to be, and sadly doesn’t have anything new to add to the mix. It’s hitting the stereotypical, sickly notes so hard that it starts to feel like it’s pointing out the cliché of it all. Katie Holmes’ performance is wooden and Jim Sturgess feels like he’s going through the motions, while the supporting cast aren’t given a lot to do. The direction then doesn’t have any additional personality or individuality to add, so it’s consistently predictable across the board.