“Your Place or Mine” begins in 2003, and it feels just like the sort of superficially agreeable and immediately forgettable romantic comedy that got here out round that point.
These are the films which have discovered new life in heavy rotation on the displays at DryBar: “The right way to Lose a Man in 10 Days,” “The Vacation,” and “One thing’s Gotta Give.” You possibly can watch them absent-mindedly whereas getting a blowout and sipping a complementary glass of champagne in preparation for a ladies’ night time out.
“Your Place or Mine” marks the characteristic directing debut of longtime author Aline Brosh McKenna, whose many credit embrace “27 Attire,” one other aughts rom-com staple. McKenna additionally wrote the far superior Oscar nominee “The Satan Wears Prada.” Her newest movie by no means comes near reaching these heights by way of sharp dialogue or richly drawn characters, but it surely additionally isn’t aiming that prime. Relatively, “Your Place or Mine” appears content material with being nice, and perhaps that’s adequate for a lazy Saturday Netflix watch.
Bother is, we all know the movie’s stars are able to a lot extra. Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher are, in fact, great-looking and charismatic, and each have completely snappy comedian timing in spite of everything these years. So it’s irritating watching them attempt to take this secure, bland materials and make it sing.
Witherspoon and Kutcher play Debbie and Peter, who attached as soon as 20 years in the past and have been finest mates ever since. We all know they’re finest mates as a result of they preserve telling us they’re finest mates, however their exchanges by no means convey the consolation or substance of such an important, two-decade bond. Despite the fact that they reside throughout the nation from one another, they nonetheless discuss on daily basis in some type, and whereas their conversations are breezy, they lack a plausible spark.
McKenna shortly establishes that they’re opposites via the usage of acquainted style tropes. Break up screens present that Debbie lives in a cluttered and colourful Los Angeles Craftsman whereas Peter lives in a smooth and spacious Brooklyn condominium overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. (The backgrounds are extraordinarily green-screeny.) She’s a perky and uptight single mother; he’s a sardonic charmer with dedication points. She walks via a quiet, leafy neighborhood whereas he walks via the bustling metropolis streets. They’re so completely different! May they probably find yourself collectively?
McKenna’s script retains them bodily aside for the overwhelming majority of the film, although, as a collection of contrivances forces them to swap properties for per week. Debbie strikes into Peter’s place whereas ending some skilled coaching in Manhattan; in the meantime, Peter agrees to reside in Debbie’s residence to maintain her candy and shy 13-year-old son, Jack (Wesley Kimmel). He arrives to a litany of anxious Put up-It notes throughout every little thing, and she will be able to’t determine how you can get his high-tech leisure system to cease enjoying songs by Peter’s favourite band, The Vehicles. It is wacky! (Severely, title a Vehicles tune, and it’s on this film, together with “Drive” whereas Peter is … driving.)
Every location incorporates a wise-cracking sidekick who’s rather more compelling than the principle character. Peter will get to hang around with Debbie’s center college co-worker pal, performed by a delightfully dry Tig Notaro. Debbie improbably turns into instantaneous BFFs with Peter’s preening celebration lady ex-girlfriend, performed by Zoe Chao. Her snarky, sly supply is pleasurable, however this character apparently has no life outdoors of displaying up and being supportive of a lady she simply met.
Different wedged-in supporting figures embrace Steve Zahn as Debbie’s gardener and the would-be suitor who’s so laid-back, his title is definitely Zen, and Jesse Williams as a good-looking and achieved New York e book editor with whom she enjoys a flirtation. Each really feel like afterthoughts and underdeveloped obstacles.
Will Debbie let unfastened in New York? Will Peter discover stability in Los Angeles? And can every discover within the different a love that was there all alongside? Except for a quick, compelled battle as a result of there must be some sort of battle, the solutions to those questions are apparent. There’s nothing difficult about these folks or these situations that will throw their destinies doubtful. The journey is all the time extra essential than the vacation spot in terms of romantic comedies, however there’s barely a twist or detour or perhaps a pothole within the highway to make this journey extra fascinating.
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