Put yourself in my shoes; it’s pretty good.
Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher both star in the new Netflix comedy “Your Place or Mine,” which is so cliche that it actually handles its formulas like a good sport. It’s neither mean-spirited or self-congratulatory, which is a good thing. It just misses great actress and “That 70s Show” legend. As a romcom (that is if it’s supposed to be a romcom), it should have been funnier and more challenging, but it would be cruel for me to pan a movie that has nice people.
Here’s the set-up.
Witherspoon as Debbie lives in Los Angeles as the overprotective single mother to his allergy-stricken son Jack (Wesley Kimmel), while Kutcher as Peter lives in New York as a fan of The Cars. They hooked up once, but he bailed out. However, they decide to be platonic friends-the kind who would call and text each other every day. It’s like if “When Harry Met Sally” was made for the 2020s.
Here’s the situation.
She needs to head over to New York for work, while he quits his job and loses his girlfriend (Vella Lovell). Her friend Scarlett (Rachel Bloom) is offered an acting gig, and can’t watch Jack as she promised, so Peter decides to come to LA to watch the kid, while Debbie goes to NY.
In summation, he’s crashing at her place, while she’s crashing at his place. Hence the title: “Your Place or Mine.” But these two learn a few things about each other-stuff that they never told each other.
Writer/director Aline Brash McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) also uses names like Tig Notaro as Debbie’s friend Alicia, Zoe Chao as Peter’s other ex Minka, Jesse Williams as a literary publisher named Theo, and Steve Zahn as Debbie’s friendly gardener Zen. During the switcheroo, Peter allows Jack to excel as a kid, and befriends Alicia and Zen, while Debbie befriends Minka and gets it on with Theo.
I’m in the mixed on this movie, because I admired the performances from both Witherspoon and Kutcher. They’re likable and sweet, and they never condescend themselves, especially since the former is also a producer with her studio Hello Sunshine helping to distribute it. And the supporting work from Notaro and Zahn both offer some charm and honesty.
I didn’t laugh at the jokes, which seem dated, but I admire how the opening flashback distinguishes between 2003 and 2023, based on the fashion and leisure. I like to look at this movie as a way for people to be reminded of the styles from the 2000s, instead of being too focused on the modern days. It’s like the two leads want to look back at their earlier careers, and adjust them for the 2020s. And plus, The Cars classic hits really bring out the film’s choice of style.
Why did I enjoy “80 for Brady,” which is in theaters, and “Your Place or Mine,” despite their predictabilities? Because they’re both sweet and don’t try as hard as other movies of their particular comedy genres would. I may be a film critic, but I’m not made of stone.
I’d rather you see “Your Place or Mine” on Netflix over “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which is in theaters. Besides it’s better than those fake movie trailers which turn out to be laundry commercials.
Streaming on Netflix