Your Place or Mine Review: Sweet Romance Fails to Spark with Witherspoon and Kutcher’s Lackluster Chemistry

Watching Your Place or Mine is interesting. It is skillfully constructed, hits all the necessary emotional notes, and manages to maintain interest over a lengthy running time.

Genre: Movie
Original Language: English
Director: Aline Brosh McKenna
Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna
Release Date (Theaters): Feb 10, 2023 Limited
Runtime: 1h 49
Distributor: Netflix
AwareEarth Rating: 2.5/5

It hurts me to say it, but maybe it’s time to put the rom-com to rest.

Romantic comedies are more likely than nearly any other genre to succeed just based on the chemistry between the leads. If there are sparks surrounding the primary couple, then practically everything else can be forgiven, even if the script is sloppily done, the directing is uninspired, and the content is sparse. We’re there to enjoy the happiness and pure feeling of fun that romance can offer to people; to savor the joie de vivre that performers can so effectively depict and that reminds us of the sense of pure possibilities that a new relationship might kindle.

Avoid seeing this movie!

None of these adjectives, or any of their synonyms, can be used to describe the new Netflix “rom-com” Your Place Or Mine, which stars Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon as haunted husks wandering through the lifeless simulacra of New York and Los Angeles and delivering pointless dialogue with zero conviction until the movie mercifully decides to end after an agonizing and unforgivable hour and fifty minutes. The plot of the movie is that two people who once slept together but afterward decided to be friends instead discover that perhaps they might feel something for one other after all, but who cares? The actors don’t appear to.

Recently, there was a meme making the rounds on Twitter that made fun of Kutcher and Witherspoon for their lifeless red carpet appearances promoting the film, contrasts starkly with other movie couples (Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, among others) who brought charring and put on a show of passion while doing the same for their projects. It turns out that Witherspoon and Kutcher were attempting to warn us. “Avoid seeing this movie!” Look, here’s a review of the movie’s mood, quality, and our on-screen performances. I regret not paying attention to the warnings.

Since this is the director’s debut movie, I want to be more understanding in my assessment, but I’m really finding it difficult to do so. It’s a terrible movie, Your Place Or Mine. Really awful The introduction scene is a flashback to 2003 that makes comments on the time with onscreen subtitles ‘It’s 2003. How do we know? the trucker hat purse chain. But even that pathetic attempt at something fizzles out and loses trust in itself before it gets begun (as in, “So many layered shirts’)

AI writing and photography vibe

The rest of the movie has an artificial intelligence (AI) writing and photography vibe. And not some clever AI from the away future. No, modern AI—one that doesn’t get that jokes should have punchlines, be given with some inflection or rhythm, that editing should have a purpose, that people react when they are feeling certain things, and that you should waste Steve Zahn on a pointless role in a pointless movie.

In this movie, I never once laughed. Never once did the idea of a smile try to put shade on my face. My face bunched up in confusion whenever there was a close-up or medium shot of Kutcher, as his acting in this film never once rose above the level of a shrug. I frowned when I saw the New York apartment that Kutcher’s character lives in, which is opulent in that sterile way popular in romcoms, to a degree absurd even for the genre’s heightened realities. To be fair to him, if I had been given the same material, I probably would have done the same.

The repeated use of The Cars’ song is Your Place Or Mine’s most—sorry, only—distinctive feature. There is a plot-related reason for it, though the movie doesn’t appear to care enough to do anything with it, the greatest songs of the band serve as the soundtrack to the ‘action’ in this movie. I was left with the question: Why? What did The Cars achieve to earn their presence in this lifeless, shambling movie?

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