YOUR PLACE OR MINE (NETFLIX) (2023)
SYNOPSIS: Debbie and Peter are best friends and total opposites. She craves routine with her son in LA; he thrives on change in NY. When they swap houses and lives for a week they discover what they think they want might not be what they really need.
Nostalgia is the main factor you watched a flick liked Your Place Or Mine especially when it stars Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, both age-defying Hollywood superstars who hasn’t starred in a rom-com for a long while.
Directed and written by Aline Brosh McKenna who gave you The Devil Wears Prada and produced by Jason Bateman, Your Place Or Mine is that odd modern love story that is neither charming, witty or making you fall in love with the stars. In short, it’s a totally forgettable Netflix original of the week.
Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Kutcher) has been friends for over 20 years since their hookup. Since then, they have remained best of friends. Platonic to say the least. While Debbie is divorced with a 13-year-old son, Jack and stays in LA, Peter is an ultra-successful marketing whiz who stays in a lavish condo overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
But when Debbie needs to go to the Big Apple to finish her accounting course, Peter offers her to stay in his apartment and he goes over to LA to look after Jack in her uphill cottage house. Needless to say, things happen and blah blah blah…they are going to end up together right?
For a start, Witherspoon and Kutcher didn’t exactly have a lot of screentime together, perhaps McKenna is trying to pull off a Sleepless In Seattle. Peter is often seen trying to bond with Jack over his eating habits, hockey and helping him getting back to his circle of friends. Debbie on the east coast gets to know a handsome book publisher, Theo (Jesse Williams) with the help of one of Peter’s saucy hook-ups, Minka (Zoe Chao).
None of the happenings apparently screams out sentimental, funny or sweet. Even the discovery of Peter’s long-hidden novel manuscript in the oven is more of a plot convenience than anything worth mentioning because as you know, there is a book publisher character and frequent mentions of Debbie’s dreams of being a book editor. Throw in a mysterious manuscript and you pretty much have an ending.
Frankly, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher remains a delight to watch. They at least did a good job evoking the good times from classic 90’s rom-coms. Yet, Your Place Or Mine fails badly as a Valentine’s Day offering. Running close to two hours but without the magic of the late Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers, this is very much a tough pill to swallow. Add to the fact that, McKenna planted two pointless dismal supporting characters played by Tig Notaro and Steve Zahn, the experience is far worse.
Review by Linus Tee