A fluffy, charming and watchable flick that whilst isn't the most engaging love story of all time, is worth watching if you fancy something new during the season of love.
WRITTEN BY BECCA JOHNSON / FEBRUARY 16, 2023
Directed by Aline Brosh McKenna and starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, Your Place or Mine is one of the many straight-to-streaming rom-com's to hit our small screens this Valentines weekend. When two best friends swap homes for a week, they get a look into each others lives that brings many surprises, most importantly of all, the possibility of love. Whilst both leads are charming and it's fluffy enough to entertain, Your Place or Mine doesn't deliver as a rom-com – it's not romantic, and it's not funny.
When Reese Witherspoon is on the scene, we know that a movie is worth giving a shot. Whilst far from career best, her performance here as Debbie is as charming as usual. She is a dedicated Mum, perhaps a little too much so, and has opted for the simple life; she knows her son must come first, and she picks the options that she thinks look after him best. Kutcher's Peter is her polar opposite; daring, career focused and not looking to settle down. The pair have a believable and likeable friendship, bounce off each other well, and provide two leads that you can root for. Ashton Kutcher is great, delivering the small amount of comedy that the movie has. The side performances from Tig Notaro, Jesse Williams and Zoe Chao are also good, despite lack of screen time.
Due to the house swap at the centre of the premise, our leads never really spend that much time together. Most of their friendship is explored through telephone calls, and unfortunately, the movie only gives us one flashback of their life together. Despite the actors having decent chemistry, we only believe they are great friends because the movie wants us to think so – there's nothing here to actually show that. The pair not spending any physical time together also means that there is a severe lack of romance in the movie. Forget accidental touches, stolen glances and all the other romance tropes – Your Place or Mine has none of that, as the pair spend the 109 minute run-time in different states. It's hard to root for a romance when you don't experience the pair together.
However, this doesn't mean that the story is a complete failure. Despite being round 20 minutes too long, the plot moves along at a reasonable pace, and because the leads are so likeable, any time spent with them is entertaining enough. As much as we wish they were hanging out together, their separate shenanigans are fun to follow. It's great to see Peter bonding with Witherspoon's on-screen son Jack, and it's equally fine enough to watch Debbie navigate the big city and have a little me time. Some of the situations they get themselves into are lacklustre, but most of the time, the performances carry us through. Whilst it doesn't have much shock factor, a barrel of laughs or a romance to fall head-over-heels in love with this Valentine's Day, it somehow manages to hold a certain level of charm and appeal that keeps you interested.
Your Place or Mine is not a Netflix Original to write home about. It severely lacks on it's comedic side, believing itself to be a lot funnier that it is. It also unfortunately lacks on it's romantic side, not giving enough screen-time to Debbie and Peter actually together. The movie has a lot of good ideas and themes, but it's unfortunately bland dialogue doesn't explore them enough. This being said, it's great to have Witherspoon and Kutcher on our screens. It's a fluffy, charming and watchable flick that whilst isn't the most engaging love story of all time, is worth watching if you fancy something new during the season of love.