Photo by: Charlie Martin
Netflix released their second Valentine’s Day-themed film on Friday, Feb. 10 called Your Place or Mine, starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher. Your Place or Mine had little to live up to following the absolute failure of You People, but this film exceeds all expectations and is worth a watch if you’re looking for a little Valentine’s Day romance.
Your Place or Mine is one of those movies that you want, you almost need, to hate. Basic characters, a predictable plot, the depiction of a boring middle-aged heterosexual couple: it has all the ingredients for an overwhelmingly basic romance film. This is what makes its success so surprising.
The film follows the lives of “Debbie” (Reese Witherspoon) who is a basic, overprotective single mom living in Los Angeles, and “Peter” (Ashton Kutcher) who is a hard-to-love working bachelor living in New York. A one-night-stand turned long-time friendship, the two end up swapping lives for a few days where long-distance romantic tension builds between them as they discover aspects of each other that they hadn’t once realized. Added into the mix is Debbie’s son “Jack” (Wesley Kimmel), and eccentric neighbour “Zen” (Steve Zahn) who both support the development of the plot while adding in a few comedic interactions.
By far, the best character is Debbie’s friend “Alicia,” who is played by stand-up comedian Tig Notaro. Alicia plays an important role of balancing out Peter — who is an unbearable character throughout most of the film — by bluntly calling him out for the way he acts. The care-free confrontation style of Alicia offers some relief to the unbearability of Peter’s character, which, in the end, makes him a lot less hateable.
One of the downfalls of the movie is that the beginning of it is a tad slow, with long, dragged out pieces of dialogue that play into the want to dislike it. However, as the film goes on, the longer pieces of dialogue are balanced out with shorter, more exciting lines which redeem the film’s lack of initial intrigue.
Anyone feeling like their Valentine’s Day movie appetite hasn’t been filled by movies like You People should take a chance on Your Place or Mine.