HomeMovie Review‘Your Place or Mine’ Overview: Witherspoon & Kutcher Return to Rom-Coms

‘Your Place or Mine’ Overview: Witherspoon & Kutcher Return to Rom-Coms

Aline Brosh McKenna’s fizzy Netflix function is simply the type of cute, predictable, and forgettable entry that ought to soothe all followers of the style.

It’s lovely that “Your Place or Mine” — Netflix’s newest reminder that the streamer is the residence for the type of churned-out rom-coms that used to dominate the multiplex, one thing we genuinely ought to be pleased about — kicks off in 2003. What a 12 months! The identical 12 months that “Learn how to Lose a Man in 10 Days,” “One thing’s Gotta Give,” and “Love Truly” all landed within the prime 50 movies of the 12 months. Rom-coms! What an idea! However as lovely and tongue-in-cheek as that alternative is, extra prefer it are in brief provide in Aline Brosh McKenna’s function directorial debut, which quickly provides over to very predictable tropes and methods.

That’s, funnily sufficient, not solely a knock in opposition to the movie, one born of a style that lives and dies by how comforting and cozy it proves to be for cinematic consumption. Rom-coms ought to really feel good, and few issues are extra scary than the unknown. Tropes and predictable plotlines? They’re the meat and potatoes of the rom-com, however that doesn’t imply that these movies shouldn’t be with out battle, with out a little instability, with out a little fear that happily-ever-after may not arrive in spite of everything.

We all know — immediately — that Debbie (Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher) are supposed to be collectively. In any case, tucked into all these 2003 trappings (a trucker hat! a sequence pockets! a WonderBra!), there are two individuals who genuinely appear to love one another a complete lot. Small twist: these two have simply met, and the evening of ardour we see unfold within the movie’s opening moments can be short-lived. Twenty years later, the pair are nonetheless in one another’s lives, however another way: they’re finest mates. Oh, come on!

McKenna, finest recognized for writing subversive rom-com gems like “Loopy Ex-Girlfriend” and “The Satan Wears Prada,” definitely has her enjoyable in her first flip behind the digicam (she additionally wrote the movie’s screenplay), pretending by way of very good break up display screen that Debbie and Peter are in the identical mattress, earlier than zapping us with the the reality (uh, they’re not). No matter occurred twenty years in the past one way or the other set these two on a path to BFF-ship, and whereas smooth-talking Peter has now decamped for New York Metropolis (the place he delights in by no means committing to anybody or something), Debbie continues to be again in LA (and nonetheless residing in the exact same home she and Peter first attached in).

Your Place or Mine (2023), Reese Witherspoon as Debbie Dunn, Zoe Chao as Minka. Cr. Erin Simkin / Netflix

“Your Place or Mine”

Erin Simkin / Netflix

Each Debbie and Peter have made some changes of their grownup lives. Hell, they’ve made full-blown concessions. Peter’s goals of being an writer didn’t pan out, and when Debbie acquired pregnant together with her son a couple of years after her Peter dalliance, she opted to carve out a secure life for the 2 of them (learn: she certain as hell didn’t keep together with his mountain climber dad, and she or he tossed her personal goals of being a e book editor in favor of a staid accounting gig). However what hasn’t modified is Debbie and Peter’s bond, as Brosh McKenna lovingly illustrates simply how deeply these two are concerned with one another, even with a complete nation between them. Oh, and regardless of the hell is standing between them truly being collectively.

Enter: a assassin’s row of problems. Debbie is on the point of head to NYC for a particular (??) one-week-only (??) course in accounting (??) that may give her a brand-new diploma (??), the place she seems ahead to being reunited together with her ol’ finest pal Peter. Too dangerous her ditzy babysitter (Brosh McKenna’s “Loopy Ex-Girlfriend” accomplice Rachel Bloom) has simply signed on for a job that, oopsie, will take her out of city simply when Debbie wants her to look at her shy son Jack (the very cute Wesley Kimmel). Peter has an concept: they’ll swap houses, and he’ll head to LA to look at Jack in order that Debbie can stay it up in NYC for the week.

Brosh McKenna’s intuition to make use of this (fairly convoluted) ruse to convey Debbie and Peter nearer is bang-on, although. There’s one thing undeniably intimate about attending to know somebody the Goldilocks method: residing of their home, sleeping of their mattress, consuming their meals. For Debbie and Peter, two individuals who know one another higher than anybody, it’s additionally a approach to unearth some main secrets and techniques (the type that solely make them like one another extra; once more, the place’s the battle?).

Your Place or Mine (2023), Wesley Kimmel as Jack, Ashton Kutcher as Peter. Cr Erin Simkin / Netflix

“Your Place or Mine”

Erin Simkin / Netflix

As Debbie and Peter sink deeper into one another’s lives — Peter makes it his enterprise to assist Jack’s flailing social life, whereas Debbie quickly falls in with Peter’s hilarious ex Minka (Zoe Chao, who deserves a by-product proper now, please and thanks) — they begin to really feel extra like, properly, extra just like the folks they had been after they first met. However higher? Older? Wiser? And, as a result of sure, this movie does want some battle, additionally a bit extra scared?

Throw in a good-looking Jesse Williams, a well being scare for Jack, and a literal e book manuscript shoved into an oven, and we’ve acquired sufficient battle and fear to maintain “Your Place or Mine” chugging alongside till its inevitable finish. However Brosh McKenna is aware of her tropes, and when she lastly, lastly brings rom-com vets Witherspoon and Kutcher collectively IRL (for an airport-set love declaration, after all), we’re reminded why this stuff work so properly, how cozy and cozy the inevitable it’s, how great to wrap every thing up with a giant bow, even when we noticed that reward coming from a mile (or 20 years) away.

Grade: C+

“Your Place or Mine” will begin streaming on Netflix on Friday, February 10.

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