‘You’re Mine’ Review: Witherspoon and Kutcher Return to Rom-Coms

Aline Brosh McKenna’s bubbly Netflix feature is just the kind of cute, predictable and forgettable entry that will please any fan of the genre.

It’s adorable that “Your Place Is Mine” is Netflix’s latest reminder that it’s a streamer the home to the kind of breakout rom-coms that used to dominate the multiplexes, for which we should honestly be grateful – starting in 2003. What a year! In the same year that “How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days,” “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Love Actually” also made the top 50 movies of the year. Rom-coms! What a concept! But as adorable and tongue-in-cheek as this choice is, it’s more of a missing piece in Aline Brosh McKenna’s directorial debut, which soon gives way to very predictable tropes and gimmicks.

Which is to say, funnily enough, it’s not entirely a knock against the film, born of a genre that lives and dies on how comforting and convenient it proves to be for cinematic consumption. Rom-coms should you’re having fun, and few things are scarier than the unknown. Tropes and predictable plot lines? They’re the meat and potatoes of the rom-com, but that doesn’t mean these movies aren’t without conflict, a little instability, a little anxiety, which thankfully never arrives.

We know – immediately – that Debbie (Reese Witherspoon) and Peter (Ashton Kutcher) should be together. After all, tucked away in 2003 jewelry (a trucker hat! a chain wallet! a WonderBra!), there are two people who seem to really like each other. Little twist: the two have just met, and the night of passion we see unfold in the film’s opening moments will be short-lived. Twenty years later, the pair are still in each other’s lives, but in a different way: best friends. Oh come on!

McKenna, best known for writing subversive rom-com gems like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Devil Wears Prada, is certainly comfortable in her first turn behind the camera (she also wrote the film’s screenplay). and pretends very good split screen that Debbie and Peter are in bed before they tell us the truth (uh, they’re not). Whatever happened two decades ago somehow put them on the BFF ship, and even though the soft-spoken Peter has now landed in New York City (where he revels in never committing to anyone or anything), Debbie still she always comes back to LA (and still lives in the same house she and Peter first joined).

Your Place or Mine (2023), Reese Witherspoon as Debbie Dunn, Zoe Chao as Minka.  BC Erin Simkin / Netflix

“Your Place Is Mine”

Erin Simkin/Netflix

Both Debbie and Peter were modified in their adult lives. Hell, they’re complete discounts. Peter’s dreams of being a writer were not fulfilled, and when Debbie became pregnant with his son a few years after Peter cheated on her, she decided to create a safe life for them (read: hell. girl threw up her own dreams of becoming a book editor alongside a casual accounting gig). But what hasn’t changed is Debbie and Peter’s bond, as Brosh McKenna lovingly illustrates how deeply they bond, even with an entire country between them. Oh, and anything in between actually to be together.

Enter: a killer array of complications. Debbie is heading to NYC for a special (??) week-long (??) accounting course (??) that will give her a brand new degree (??) and she can’t wait to be reunited with her best friend Peter. Too bad her babysitter (Brosh McKenna’s “crazy ex-girlfriend” partner Rachel Bloom) has just signed on for a role that takes her out of town when Debbie needs her to watch her shy son Jack (who’s so cute). . Wesley Kim). Peter has an idea: they swap homes and he heads to LA to see Jack so Debbie can live in New York for a week.

However, Brosh McKenna’s instinct to bring Debbie and Peter closer with this (rather convoluted) ruse failed. There’s something undeniably intimate about getting to know someone in a Golden-haired way: living in their house, sleeping in their bed, eating their food. For Debbie and Peter, who know each other better than anyone, it’s a way to reveal some big secrets (the kind that only make them like each other more; where’s the conflict?).

Your Place or Mine (2023), Wesley Kimmel as Jack, Ashton Kutcher as Peter.  Cr Erin Simkin/Netflix

“Your Place Is Mine”

Erin Simkin/Netflix

As Debbie and Peter get deeper and deeper into each other’s lives – Peter makes it his business to help Jack’s busy social life, while Debbie soon falls for Peter’s hilarious ex Minka (Zoe Chao, who deserves a spinoff right now please and thank you) — begin to feel better than they were when they first met. But better? Older? Wiser? And because yes, this movie needs some conflict, a little more scares?

Throw in a handsome Jesse Williams, Jack’s health scare, and a literal book manuscript shoved into an oven, and we’ve got enough conflict and angst to keep “Your Place or Mine” going until its inevitable end. But Brosh McKenna knows her tropes, and when she finally finally brings rom-com vets Witherspoon and Kutcher together IRL (for an airport declaration of love, of course), we’re reminded of why these things work so well, how cozy and comfortable the inevitability is, how wonderful it is to wrap it all up. a big bow, even if we saw the gift from a mile (or 20 years) away.

Grade: C+

“Your Place or Mine” begins streaming on Netflix on Friday, February 10.

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