Your Place or Mine review: A modern rom-com slog

If half your press tour is spent explaining away the lack of chemistry between you and your co-star, it’s safe to say your project might be in trouble. And unfortunately, Your Place or Mine doesn’t offer much reprieve. Sitting through it feels like witnessing two movie stars desperately trying to ignite a spark in a heap of soggy leaves for over 100 minutes. Despite the promising ingredients—a cast led by Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, and a screenplay by the writer of The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses—the film falls flat, offering a hollow and aimless rendition of the classic rom-com formula.

But amidst the damp disappointment, one thing remains certain: Debbie (Witherspoon), a sunny Los Angeles accountant and single mother, and Tom (Kutcher), a successful but emotionally adrift New York consultant, will inevitably find their way back to each other. After a drunken night together years ago, they’ve remained best friends for nearly two decades. Now, with Debbie needing to earn an accounting certificate in Manhattan, Tom agrees to watch over her young son, Jack, during her studies.

Your Place or Mine

Debbie quickly settles into Tom’s Brooklyn bachelor pad, rediscovering her Gen-X spirit, while he adapts to life in her cozy L.A. cottage, imparting some much-needed life lessons to her overprotected son, Jack. Naturally, this cross-country switcheroo introduces new characters into their lives: Debbie gains Minka (Zoe Chao), a vivacious party girl from Tom’s social circle eager to explore the best of New York, while Tom gains Alicia (Tig Notaro), a sharp-witted teacher at Jack’s school, and Steve Zahn’s enigmatic neighbor, who spends more time in Debbie’s yard than his own.

In the midst of this mix-up, it’s the supporting characters who steal the spotlight, leaving us yearning for deeper insights into their lives. Why not follow Alicia home to her bustling household or imagine the adventures of Theo and Minka on a Friday night? Instead, writer-director Aline Brosh McKenna, known for her work on Cruella and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, focuses on the predictable trajectory of her main characters, Tom and Debbie. Their conflicts are resolved with superficial ease, leaving little room for exploration of the literary subplot or any meaningful character development.

McKenna’s approach feels like a cursory nod to the rom-com playbook rather than a genuine exploration of its nuances. While films like Ticket to Paradise have proven there’s still an appetite for clever, lighthearted romances, Your Place or Mine falls short of delivering the depth and charm audiences deserve. Despite the star power of Witherspoon and Kutcher, the film feels hollow and uninspired, leaving both its cast and viewers wanting more.

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