Suppose you have faced the dilemma of expressing your romantic interest to someone because you couldn’t afford to lose them as a friend. In that case, the relatability factor might help you sit through the new Netflix film Your Place or Mine. Directed by Aline Brosh McKenna, who wrote the screenplay of The Devil Wears Prada, Your Place or Mine is an easy rom-com full of familiar beats.
Debbie and Peter hooked up casually one night back in 2003. Nothing really happened between them romantically, but they kept in touch and became best friends who pretty much shared everything. The movie talks about a week in the present day. Peter, who lives in New York, promises to look after Debbie’s son in LA as Debbie has to attend some classes in New York to get a degree. How this house swapping changes the dynamic of the 20-year-old friendship is what we see in Your Place or Mine.
At the beginning of the movie, you get this fun element of the usual light-hearted rom-com. The hero’s mundane yet luxurious life and the leading lady’s hectic life are shown in the first half an hour of the movie. Then the elements that lead to creating the drama step in, which are very much the usual ones. Peter tries to become friendly with Debbie’s son Jack, but it doesn’t work out initially. Gradually a bond is created, which eventually causes issues for Debbie. On the other hand, Debbie is trying her luck finding love, and here also, you have the familiar story tropes.
As the unsure Peter, who miserably fails to impress his best friend’s child by making up names, Ashton Kutcher was convincing in that role. Reese Witherspoon, as Debbie, also gets into the character’s skin smoothly. But the angry transition of the character could have been more convincing, and it was more of a writing-level flaw. Zoe Chao plays that quintessential high-fi matchmaking fashionista you see in these genre films.
The uninventive writing is the issue with the movie, and somewhere, I felt it could have easily grabbed a spot in that list of guilty pleasure cheesy romantic flicks. Written and directed by Aline Brosh McKenna, the conflict creation in Your Place or Mine is very ordinary. Peter’s decision to avoid certain communications and Debbie’s decision to decide things for Peter’s career doesn’t land that smoothly. The lack of an organic flow in creating those moments is very evident. The Joss Whedon kind of verbal comedy in certain areas was really bad.
The thing is, if you are looking for a laid-back happy-ending romantic comedy, there are definitely much better options out there. The only element of freshness is in the pairing of Kutcher and Witherspoon. Other than that, it’s a missed opportunity to create a usual yet memorable romantic comedy.
The only element of freshness is in the pairing of Kutcher and Witherspoon. Other than that, it's a missed opportunity to create a usual yet memorable romantic comedy.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended