Netflix is bringing back the rom-com golden age. The latest of its batch, Your Place or Mine, stars two movie legends we all know, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher. It’s about time we saw these two actors on the big screen together in a sweet, comforting romantic comedy that is guaranteed to brighten your mood.
The film follows Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Kutcher), two lifelong best friends. Despite sleeping together once the night they first met back in their early 20s, now the two middle-aged besties are living separate lives, one in Los Angeles and the other in New York. They talk, text, and FaceTime almost every day, keeping up with one another online and remaining as close as ever. When Debbie, an uptight, single-mom to her introverted son, Jack, has the opportunity to follow a dream of hers that would mean leaving Jack for a week to go to New York City, Peter immediately volunteers to fly out to L.A. to watch him for her. Concurrently, Peter is living in his luxurious New York City skyline-view apartment, working as a high-end businessman and dating his fair share of younger women; but spoiler…he isn’t all that happy. He has yet to fulfill his real passion of writing a book, as well as meeting someone to settle down with — or so we thought.
Living in each other’s homes and being with the other’s friends makes suppressed feelings for one another start to resurface. But while Peter is finally starting to admit his true feelings for Debbie to himself and to act upon them after all these years, Debbie meets Theo, a great man she is very attracted to. They both are left with difficult choices that could easily change their lives. All they have to do is take a chance, but as Debbie says, “I don’t take chances!”
When Debbie and Peter switch lives for a week, they start to discover little secrets that each of them had been keeping from the other. True feelings and true passions come to the surface and ultimately, spontaneous decisions will have to be made. The best things in life are always on the opposite side of fear. But are Debbie and Peter brave enough to make the jump and jeopardize their long-standing friendship?
Despite getting mixed reviews from various media outlets, it ranked #1 on Netflix’s top 10 movies in the nation the week of its premiere. However, regardless of the expectations of the film, I believe the storyline stands for itself.
I thought the film was the perfect at-home, feel-good movie the world needs. Although predictable, that doesn’t undermine the value of the story. Director, producer, and screenwriter of Your Place or Mine, Aline Brosh McKenna, gave us a film to smile about, which is just what the world needs to see more of. The beloved friends-to-lovers trope was depicted perfectly in this story where I found myself so engrossed in the plot that it didn’t matter if it was “predictable” to most people. We are still rooting for the characters and want to see them happy in the end. I thought Witherspoon and Kutcher had good chemistry, not great, but that was evened out by the story and their portrayal of these characters.
The actors spoke in an interview about the movie, saying how their characters are very similar to themselves in many respects. Witherspoon has experience as a single mom, and Kutcher has experienced getting “out of the friends zone” with his now wife, Mila Kunis.
All in all, the film has its pros and cons, but in the end, it’s a great movie to watch with your friends or family. And its release prior to Valentine’s Day gave couples something good to watch. Containing the stereotypical “cheesy” scenes is something you either love or hate but overall, I think the film did a good job of portraying a realistic couple’s relationship and their navigation through the obstacles of life. Discovering deeper feelings within their strong bonded friendship pans out to be a beautiful romantic relationship that leaves viewers smiling in their seats.
And come on! Who doesn’t love a good airport finale scene?