There’s something inherently unromantic about our age of technology, isn’t there? Handwritten letters have been replaced with text messages and organic meet-cutes with dating app swipes. No wonder the romantic comedy genre has been in a funk. Thankfully, a few alums of the beloved genre have come together for Aline Brosh McKenna’s Your Place or Mine – which is a new rom-com not only very much of our time, but among Netflix’s most romantic original movies yet.
Release Date: February 11, 2023 (Netflix)
Directed By: Aline Brosh McKenna
Written By: Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher, Jesse Williams, Tig Notaro, Zoe Chao, Steve Zahn, Rachel Bloom and Wesley Kimmel
Rating: PG-13 (suggestive material and brief strong language)
Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher both came up in Hollywood during a time when romantic comedies were all the rage, and each made some good ones in what seems like a lifetime ago. Nowadays, each of them have climbed the industry ladder and become producers and entrepreneurs in their own right. Thankfully, Your Place Or Mine doesn’t feel like a step down for them.
It’s a joyful return to a cozy formula so many of us love, and it's a simple and sweet modern love story about not letting the noise of life stop one from taking a chance on your passions.
Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher make for a believable pair, despite the long distance of it all.
It's no wonder that Your Place Or Mine pulls off the rare romantic comedy spell, as it is written and directed by Aline Brosh McKenna – the talented writer behind such films as The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses, and the popular comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The movie marks her feature directorial debut, and she couldn’t have chosen more charismatic leads than Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher. Both stars are both back in their element but stepping into a storyline fit for their current ages that they’ve each yet to explore from a rom-com.
Witherspoon plays Debbie, a high-strung single mother living in Los Angeles with her teen son (Wesley Kimmel) whilst her best friend of two decades, Peter (Ashton Kutcher), is a lonely advertising big-shot living in New York City. When Debbie’s plans to visit Peter in New York City for a work opportunity get foiled when her babysitter bails, Peter suggests that they switch homes for the week.
From the beginning of the movie, as the best friends talk over video chat as they get ready for their days and then as Debbie goes off to the Big Apple and Peter jets off to L.A., Your Place or Mine makes the difficult decision to run while having its two leads in completely different settings. You’d think it would hurt the chemistry of its love interests, but the movie thrives on the tension between these two being in completely different places but so clearly being two halves who could make a whole. That is, of course, if they could somehow find themselves in the same city.
The script is not exactly poetry, but Your Place Or Mine definitely counts among Netflix’s best rom-coms.
Your Place Or Mine isn’t a life-changing look on love and romance by any means, and it runs on some crazy coincidences one would only see in a glitzy movie like this. That being said, Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher and the cast brush off the script’s shortcomings with their charms. Particularly great additions to Your Place Or Mine’s appeal is Tig Notaro and Steve Zahn supporting the Los Angeles side of the story with a handful of great moments. Zoë Chao and Jesse Williams bring energy to Debbie’s NYC adventures.
While many Netflix movies cut corners by simply bringing in big names to rather basic storylines, Your Place Or Mine has the full recipe for a Hollywood romantic comedy the early ‘00s was so famous for. One of those necessary ingredients is a specificity to the love story, and it allows the film to rise above the typical streaming rom-com. It now sits among Netflix’s other outlier best offerings from the genre that had a combination of star power and a lovable story, including All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Set It Up or Always Be My Maybe. This is something that only comes around once and a while.
Your Place Or Mine walks a great line between escapism and groundedness.
Many of the best romantic comedies have to balance it feeling like a daydream of what life and romance can be (without the complications of real life), while also getting us super invested enough to believe and see ourselves in the storyline as well. Your Place Or Mine checks off these boxes as we see a set of circumstances just about perfectly un-align and realign for its leads, while a surely relatable right person/wrong time plot line plays out like a vision.
When the movie's plot threads culminate, it feeds into loads of tropes we’ve seen from romantic comedies, but also makes one’s heart soar watching a potential instant classic moment that can now go down as special in modern history of the genre. Yes, Your Place Or Mine has that unexplainable warm and fuzzy goodness that may have you going in skeptical before full on crying at the hope of love by the time its credits roll. While it doesn’t tread new waters, it’s absolutely worth your time if you’ve been craving an old school romantic comedy that you don’t already know all the words to.
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