- Romantic Comedy
Fix: rom-coms, Reese Witherspoon, NYC, adorable moppet, friends-to-lovers, book lovers
When best friends and total opposites Debbie and Peter swap homes for a week, they get a peek into each other’s lives that could open the door to love.
Despite their wildly different bicoastal lives, Debbie and Peter have been best friends for 20 years, ever since a one-night stand that went nowhere. Single mom Debbie is excitedly planning to visit Peter for a week in New York while she completes an accounting certification. But when her childcare falls through, Peter offers to come stay with her son, Jack, so she can still take her class in New York. While living in each other’s spaces, they get to live different lives, which leads to them deciding what they really want.
This movie wants to be When Harry Met Sally for the digital age. The long friendship, opposites attract, and the fakest NYC you’ve ever seen, do serve as the perfect backdrop for Your Place or Mine to pay vague homage to the superior rom-coms of yore.
Reese Witherspoon as Debbie Dunn
Reese has reached a level in her career where I assume she is just always playing herself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It works out fine for Julia Roberts. But you can give these people all the quirky costumes in the world, and I’m seldom going to buy them as anything other than who they are. Like, Debbie is such a book person that she stores books by her bathtub. But who does that?! Celebrities who can buy new books to replace their eccentric waterlogged decor.
Ashton Kutcher as Peter Coleman
Ashton hasn’t made a rom-com since 2011, and despite being a conventionally attractive dude with decent comic timing, I’m not sure this is his milieu. (Don’t be sad, Ashton. I thought you were great in last summer’s Vengeance.) But when Peter is unironically enjoying The Cars in his cold, expensive NY apartment, I can’t be the only one who was reminded of American Psycho.
Zoe Chao as Minka
Minka is one of Peter’s many exes who shows up unannounced while Debbie is staying at his place and exclusively for plot reasons decides to befriend her. Minka makes a hilarious friend, stylist, life guide, and she’s a superior gift-giver. Huh. She might actually be a fairy godmother. Also, Zoe Chao is so good, she pretty much steals the whole movie.
Jesse Williams as Theo Marton
A heroine being adorkable about an indie book publisher is extremely relatable. It does not hurt at all that he looks like Jesse Williams. Debbie goes on one date with Theo and he’s immediately ready to help her land her dream job so she can move across the country and date him. I’m sure this happens all the time.
Wesley Kimmel as Jack
Jack is Debbie’s poor smothered 13 -year-old that is allergic to EVERYTHING and isn’t even allowed to play sports with his friends because she’s afraid he’ll get hurt. Luckily, he has Peter there to try and run his life in a completely different direction.
Tig Notaro as Alicia
Alicia is Debbie and Peter’s mutual friend and such must share “get a grip” duties between the two, along with critiquing every choice they’ve ever made, as is her right. Tig Notaro is perfection, and I will be bummed forever that she and Zoe Chao’s character never interacted because that would have been gold.
Steve Zahn as Zen
The character of Zen is just some random dude who lives in Debbie’s garden. Is this a thing? Do they just issue you one of your own when you buy a home in Los Angeles? Is this about the housing crisis? I don’t understand. But it’s Steve Zahn, so I guess this is what he does when he’s not at The Nut Shop.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Grab Your Funny Sidekick
You’re going to have questions. So many questions. And opinions! Ugh. Guys with commitment issues in their 40’s. It’s like they all think they’re George Clooney. And even if you’re just talking to your cat, or, like Debbie, simply speaking to the empty room, just get it out. These people spend hours talking to each other every morning. How? I need to know their time management skills immediately. Who organizes their books by color? Who keeps their manuscript in the oven? Is there anyone left alive who thinks kids really like casseroles? Would you let Ashton Kutcher babysit your child? Would you let Steve Zahn live in your yard?
Recommended Level of Inebriation: I’ll Have What She’s Having
Seriously. Debbie orders the most ridiculously over-the-top novelty drinks at a very fancy and exclusive NYC club that no one would ever really order because they wouldn’t want to be judged for their juvenile taste, and that is the exact kind of energy I want in my life. As for the drinks you’ll need for this movie? I’m sorry to say, it is all of them. In fact, I invented my own drinking game for this very purpose.
Take a drink:
Every time Peter or Debbie says “we tell each other everything..”
Every time you see Steve Zahn’s butt crack.
When you hear The Cars.
Take a shot:
Peter gets so cringey while trying to help Jack make friends that even the child looks like they need a drink.
They remind us of the incredibly flimsy premise that Debbie (who lives in the third largest state!) can only get this accounting certification in a one-week program across the country.
There’s a shoutout for the Rob Lowe biography! It’s an Austin FYA book club fave.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Paging Dr. Fieldstone
Reese and Ashton are two people who can be charming on their own. Would you ever think they belong together? Of course not. I find it hilarious that the press made so much out of Reese and Ashton not looking comfortable together on the red carpet. Maybe because they spent five minutes together on screen? They hardly know each other!
Between the long friendship, the opposite personalities, and the book lovers, I appreciate the nods to some of the rom-com greats. Is this one of them? Absolutely not. They can’t all be You’ve Got Mail. Is this the best one on Netflix? Also, no. Set It Up isn’t going anywhere. Whatever, you can only watch the classics so many times, and I am open to giving new ones a chance. And I’m never gonna be mad about Reese’s production company helping to keep the genre alive. Now go out there and dare to imagine that you could have a different life. You know, the one with all the attractive people living in absurd real estate.
3 thoughts on “Your Place Or Mine”
I didn’t hate this movie until it got to the airport bit. And then I HATED it. Their chemistry is painfully nonexistent.
You didn’t think they should’ve gotten together immediately after yelling terrible things at each other in public? Weird, but okay.
Call me old fashioned.