Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon teamed up for the first time since 2006 to star in Netflix’s “Your Place or Mine.” The film is about two long-distance best friends who change each other’s lives while Debbie decides to pursue her dreams and Peter takes care of her teenage son for a week.
Peter, played by Kutcher, is a bachelor living in New York in an apartment that probably goes for a million dollars in the real world. Debbie, played by Witherspoon is a single mother living in Los Angeles dedicated to taking care of her teenage son Jack.
Peter and Debbie have been friends for 20 years as they call each other every day for 30 minutes to check in on one another. The concept reminded me of the film “Her.” While it is a totally different film, with a completely different story, the premise is two characters talking on the phone together, unable to see each other’s faces. Similarly, Witherspoon and Kutcher don’t share the screen until the last scene of the movie.
This premise provides warmth and heart to the movie. Both characters show how much they look forward to hearing each other’s voice by their expression on their faces as they hang on to every word the other says. The audience roots for Debbie and Peter to get together from the beginning until Jesse Williams’ character, Theo, comes into the picture smitten with Debbie.
“Your Place or Mine” follows the format of your typical rom-com, but it’s refreshing to see such big stars. Even though Kutcher and Witherspoon are essentially embodying the same characters they have played in past romantic comedies, it gives us hope that two big movie stars can share the screen and convince the audience they can actually be together.
Steve Zahn adds to the comedic element in the film playing the character Zen, a gardener who has worked for free in Debbie’s garden for a few years now. While I wished he had a stronger role and more scenes with Kutcher, Zahn does not disappoint every time the camera goes on him. For those who don’t know, Zahn has been in the movie business for years, recently starring in the first season of HBO’s “The White Lotus.”
Cinematographer Florian Ballhaus shot the film. This is my first time hearing of him, but the cinematography in this film gave it an early to mid 2000s rom-com look. The incorporation of 80s hits music in the film adds onto its great energy. It was a break from adding in cheesy modern pop that most new films use nowadays.
“Your Place or Mine” has a lot of heart in it and is one of the better rom-coms Netflix has released. Wesley Kimmel who plays Jack, adds to the film’s chemistry by playing the shy lost teenage kid everyone roots for and wants to see fit in and be happy. Kimmel and Kutcher share the screen in some genuine scenes that really felt like a role model helping someone who admires them. It is light-hearted and there are no lulls in the story.
“Your Place or Mine” is streaming on Netflix now, go check it out.