Updated: Feb 16
Two romcom mainstays, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, collaborate with director Aline Brosh McKenna who makes her feature debut in Netflix's Your Place or Mine. Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Kutcher) are best friends and total opposites. She craves a routine with her son Jack (Wesley Kimmel) in LA. He thrives on change in New York. A series of circumstances lead the besties to swap houses and lives for a week. They soon discover that what they want might differ from what they need.
When you look at the talent involved in his film, it's truly a shame that it's such a bore. Romcom die-hards will surely recognize that the film aims to be in the vein of the 1993 classic Sleepless In Seattle. In that regard, Witherspoon and Kutcher only have a few scenes together outside the beginning and the end. I won't fault the two leads because they are competent. However, the performances both scream a paycheck role.
The supporting cast doesn't offer much other than Jesse Williams (a possible love interest for Debbie) and Zoë Chao (a former fling of Peter who strikes up a friendship with Debbie). Honestly, I was more fond of those characters than the leads and would have preferred a film centered on them.
This film opens in 2003 and attempts to use pop-ups as jokes that fall flat. There's also the glaring error of playing the 2006 bop "The Sweet Escape" three years too early at the start of the opening scene. Director Aline Brosh McKenna, who wrote two delightful films, The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses, is scraping the bottom of the barrel. I know many aspiring creatives who could have done wonders with this material.
The premise of friends destined to get together through the experience of living each other's lives writes itself. They realize they were both looking for more than what they had. For the jokes, you tap into the experience of being in an unfamiliar place and adapting to changing routines.
Ultimately after seeing life through a different perspective, both characters have helped them gain insight into their own lives and understand what they truly need. Sadly Your Place or Mine plays it too safe and collapses.
Final Grade: D+
Your Place or Mine is available to stream on Netflix