YOUR PLACE OR MINE: 3 ½ STARS. “a bi-coastal ‘When Harry Met Sally.’”
‘Tis the season for romantic comedies.
At the movies, the days leading up to Valentine’s Day are filled with meet cutes, misunderstandings, complications, wacky neighbors and swanky apartments. “Your Place or Mine,” a new rom com starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher and now streaming on Netflix, is chock a block with all that, plus the star power of its leads.
Twenty years ago Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Kutcher) had a wild one night stand that blossomed into a lifelong platonic friendship. These days, she’s a high-strung single mom to teenager Jack (Wesley Kimmel), living, working and going to school in Los Angeles,
New York based Peter is into branding for big companies. Self-possessed and cocky, he is the polar opposite of Debbie, who thinks he is irresponsible and terrible with women. Nonetheless, they are besties who tell each other everything.
Or almost everything.
When Debbie’s babysitter cancels on the eve of a trip to New York City, Peter offers to swap places. She’ll stay at his luxury NYC apartment and he’ll look after Jack in Los Angeles.
Over the week the city swap opens windows into each other’s worlds. It soon becomes obvious they have more has gone unspoken in their relationship than they ever could have imagined.
“Your Place or Mine” is the rare rom com that keeps its main characters across the country from one another. They don’t gaze into one another’s eyes, don’t hold hands and rarely even share the same frame.
Imagine a bi-coastal “When Harry Met Sally.”
For most of the running time their relationship is long distance and it is a testament to the strong cast that “Your Place or Mine” is as much fun as it is. The end point is predictable, as it is in all rom coms, but the journey to the ultimate destination is a pretty good ride. Even their take on the patented airport rom com run is given a fresh treatment.
Witherspoon cuts through this light comedy like a hot knife through butter. She brings an effortless charm that helps make this 90s style rom com as buoyant as it is.
Kutcher, who like Witherspoon, has a few rom coms under his belt, displays a way with a line—“I’m just a lonely guy with outstanding hair,” he says.—and carries his side of the equation, particularly in the scenes he shares with Kimmel and the deadpan Tig Notaro as one of Debbie’s friends.
“Your Place or Mine” succeeds because it understands what it is, a rom com tilted just slightly to create something that provides nostalgia for 90s romantic comedies and something new and just a little different for Valentine’s Day.