Movie review: Your place or mine

Aleasha Hintz – Staff writer

“Your Place or Mine” centers on two middle-aged, long-distance best friends that know exactly what they need – except, maybe they don’t. The movie was… cute? I guess? Honestly though, it’s a thoughtless, mediocre Netflix film released just to capitalize on Valentine’s Day views.

Debbie (Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher) have been long-distance best friends for years, and it works for them. Debbie lives in Los Angeles with her 13-year-old son and lives a life of practicality. She takes online classes but needs to visit her college’s campus for one final week in New York City, where Peter lives the fast life with fancy cars, multiple ex-girlfriends, and a successful career in business. But because babysitter plans fell through for Debbie’s son, the two decide to switch houses for a week to make it work.

The opening scene is a fast-paced ode to the early 2000s; the clip pauses with text to clarify the year is 2003. Ironically, “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani underscores the scene, which was actually released in 2006.

Considering this is the first scene of the film, it’s not a good look that they couldn’t match a song to its time period. This thoughtlessness in craft is evident throughout the film, and ruins an otherwise fun concept for a rom-com.

The dialogue is extremely juvenile and gimmicky, which contrasts the age of the leads, who are supposedly in their mid-40s. In the early portion of the film, Peter makes many attempts to ascribe a nickname to Debbie’s son Jack, and the jokes fall flat every time. The formula goes: Peter makes a reference to something Jack doesn’t understand, Jack consequently doesn’t understand, and then Peter awkwardly says he’ll keep working on it. It was mildly amusing the first time, but after four or five repeats of the same joke it begins to look like lazy writing.

The film also did a poor job with its subtext. In one scene, Peter is having a heart-to-heart with Jack while driving home from school. Only, Peter had just finished telling Jack that his father died in a car accident. Oh, and he’s making eye contact with Jack nearly the whole time, hardly looking at the road. I was dreading a car crash that never happened because of this and was distracted from a really sweet scene.

The movie makes lapses like these over and over again, and still manages to take itself too seriously. Many scenes felt unfounded or overdramatized and therefore failed to really prepare us for the ending, when Debbie and Peter realize they need each other. The problem is, they achieved this by going behind the other’s back.

Their reconciliation was just as cheesy and predictable as every other romcom (yes, they do get together; after some intense PDA in- you guessed it- an airport). It is rather cute, though, if you like friends-to-lovers, character inconsistencies, and hasty epilogues. If not, don’t bother.

Contributed photo

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