Your Place Or Mine is the rom-com equivalent of a generic greeting card, and there aren't even any chocolates included.

Film Review: Your Place or Mine

Film Reviews

Your Place or Mine
Directors: Aline Brosh McKenna

Aggregate Films and Hello Sunshine
Streaming on Netflix 02.10

Not unlike chicken pox or measles, lingering cases of the traditional Hollywood romcom occasionally pop up. Last year, new strains of Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts films were discovered; with the arrival of the Netflix film Your Place Or Mine, Reese Witherspoon is ready to enter the cinematic bloodstream once again.

Your Place Or Mine sets up its gimmicky premise by introducing us to Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher), two seemingly incompatible people who hook up for one night of sex so earthshaking that they immediately commit to becoming platonic besties. 20 years later, the pair are living in different states and stay tethered together by texting and phone calls. Debbie, now a single mom, gets accepted into a weeklong course in New York to help her finish her degree in accounting. She’s left in a pickle when her babysitter flakes out, and Peter must spring into action. He proposes coming to LA and watching over Debbie’s son, Jack (Wesley Kimmel), while she stays at Peter’s pad in New York. It’s so nutty it just might work, though there’s a chance that this experiment in life swapping may lead to each one learning a secret or two that they’ve been hiding from the other—and from themselves.

Your Place Or Mine lacks substance even by the frivolous standards of the genre. While it’s less contrived than the silliest romcoms, that’s largely because so little labor has been put into it. Witherspoon could do this sort of movie in her sleep, and Kutcher reminds us that when cast in the right role, he’s really a charmer. With Tig Notaro and Steve Zahn in supporting roles, Your Place Or Mine had the makings of a fresh, sugary treat. Instead, it settles for stale and saccharine. 

Aline Brosh McKenna, writer of Cruella, The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses, makes her directorial debut here,. she’s seen enough entries in the genre to be enamored with split screen sequences but seems to have gleaned little else of value. The script is full of half-explored ideas and hastily connected plot threads, and it plays like it was written in a single day. While the cast is good individually, there’s a lack of connectivity between the performances. The only present chemistry is between Kutcher and Notaro, with the latter rising furthest above the material despite her slim characterization.

Your Place Or Mine isn’t the worst way to spend a minimal-effort, Netflix-and-chill Valentine’s Day while wearing sweatpants and eating microwave popcorn. Still, it’s the movie equivalent of a generic greeting card with no thought, honest or genuine feeling put into it, and there aren’t even any chocolates included. Real love requires effort and signs of commitment and growth, and the same old tired gestures that might have been enough at one time don’t cut it if you can’t do it with some feeling.  –Patrick Gibbs

Read more reviews of romantic comedies:
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Film Review: Happiest Season