‘Your Place or Mine’ Review: Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher Go the Distance in Sweet, If Familiar, Rom-Com

There’s nothing particularly original or groundbreaking about the new Netflix rom-com your place or mine Yet it is just that comfortable Introduction In a movie that isn’t trying to rewrite the rules of engagement in a time-worn style that offers this indulgent dessert a perfect Valentine’s Day. In fact, streamers are filling the bill for couples looking for a little love while their movies are on, and that’s what veteran screenwriter Alain Brosh McKennare (The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses) Sweet enough to make it a fine alternative to getting in the mood to stay at home on the couch for Cupid’s big day.

In fact, the premise of its two main characters changing homes and cities for a week is not new at all. Nancy Meyers did this sensationally with 2006 as an example holiday, but it featured a stranger, starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, answering ads who agreed to change homes and locales for the Christmas season where they would discover a new life by living the lives of others. Here we have 40 long-time BFFs Debbie (Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher), who swap in very different situations.

Twenty years ago, the two had a one-night stand that Peter didn’t exactly want to repeat, claiming he was commitment-phobic and not the right guy for Debbie. They decide to be best friends instead, even long distance when her fear of earthquakes leads her to flee Los Angeles to New York City where she can pursue her writing ambitions — though she clearly has the money by the looks of her dream apartment. Above the Big Apple. Peter and Debbie are inseparable, however, thanks to their phones and laptops, constantly sharing the ups and downs of their lives, polar opposites like they are.

Debbie is divorced and raising son Jack (Wesley Kimmel), about whom she is clearly overprotective. An accountant at a local school, he seizes the opportunity to expand his horizons and head to NYC for some classes that will help him advance in his job — plus it’s a good chance to see old friend Peter. However, when her babysitter bails on the eve of her trip she has to cancel until Peter offers that she can be on the plane to LA to take care of Jack when he arrives in New York. So they move house for a week and discover that what they know about their best friend becomes very different from each other’s actual lifestyles and home experiences.

Peter turns out that all Jack needs is male influence, opening up a whole new world for the kid who was bullied at school and had few friends. from seeing the alien together (will be mother never (allow) bringing Jack to hockey is a completely different life for Peter than the one he had in New York. The same goes on the opposite coast for Debbie, who befriends one of Peter’s exes, Minka (Joe Chao), discovers a book manuscript that Peter never told her he wrote, and enters into a business and sexual relationship with handsome publisher Theo (Theo). by Jesse Williams) to whom he presented the book of Peter (author unknown). Things get a little confusing on both ends of this swap, predictably, but it wouldn’t be a spoiler alert to say that it all ends in satisfying rom-com fashion — but thankfully grounded in reality. It’s also novel in the genre these days, especially on Netflix, which specializes in two middle-aged stars at the center of these rom-coms.

Noam Galai/Getty Images for Netflix

You can really thank Witherspoon and Kutcher, the stalwarts and veterans of the genre, for pulling this off. Such movies can be flatter than pancakes without the right chemistry, and even if they are not on screen together It all works for most of the film, especially McKenna’s effective use of the old-fashioned device of split screens for their bicoastal FaceTime and phone chats, even a sequence of dueling bathtubs that is a direct homage (or plagiarism?) to Rock’s Doris In. Pillow talk.

As for the time-honored rom-com roles of best friends, both the stylishly dressed Chow and Tig Notaro perfectly fill the role of a mutual friend to both Debbie and Peter, the latter lending her welcome trademark deadpan wit. Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel’s nephew, is refreshingly cloying and believable as Jack. Of the rest of the cast, only Steve Zahn’s one-dimensional neighbor Jane, enamored of Debbie’s overgrown garden, seems over the top, less recognizable human and one more device to get broad smiles.

Producers are Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan, Witherspoon, Lauren Neustadter and McKenna. Netflix starts streaming your place or mine Friday.

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