Your Place or Mine, above average romcom

Reese Witherspoon in Your Place or Mine

Your Place or Mine brings a stellar cast to a slightly above average romcom. Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher are in the lead roles. There’s a terrific cast surrounding them. The film was written and directed by Aline Brosh McKenna.

Your Place or Mine uses the premise that Debbie (Witherspoon) and Peter (Kutcher) hooked up once 20 years ago, but have been best friends since. They talk on the phone every day. He’s in New York, she’s in LA.

How Hollywood can churn out so many romcoms and never have made one before that paired up romcom veterans Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher is an unsolved mystery.

Reese Witherspoon and Wesley Kimmel in Your Place or Mine

Debbie, who was once as aspiring book editor, married and has a 13 year old son, Jack (Wesley Kimmel). She’s single now and obsessed with Jack’s health and safety. She needs a better job to pay for his medications.

Ashton Kutcher in Your Place or Mine

Peter never married. He was once an aspiring writer but now operates a consulting business. He breaks up with women after 6 months, almost on the dot.

Debbie is going to New York for a week to take a class that will earn her the degree she needs to get a better job. Her friend Scarlet (Rachel Bloom) will stay with Jack. When Scarlet can’t do it, Peter decides to go to LA to stay with Jack himself. They will trade living spaces for a week.

Ready-made sidekicks are built into the story. In New York, Peter’s ex, Minka (Zoë Chao), apparently has time to attend Debbie’s every need. In LA, Debbie’s coffee guzzling friend Alicia (Tig Notaro) automatically becomes Peter’s helpmate. Plus there’s Debbie’s neighbor Zen (Steve Zahn), who spends every day in her garden tending the plants.

In New York, Debbie meets the extremely handsome editor Theo (Jesse Williams). While the sparks and literary conversations fly between them, Debbie does something unusual.

ln Los Angeles, Peter is pulling his own unusual tricks involving the overprotected Jack and the hockey team. That plot line provides an excuse for Gloria Calderón Kellett to have a cameo as a doctor.

I’ll leave the twists and confrontations of the third act leading up to the happy ending for you to discover if you watch the film.

Witherspoon and Kutcher are both gorgeous and charming and have great chemistry, so no complaints about the movie on that score. But as someone who has written several books, it must be said that this is the digital age. Manuscripts are stored in electronic form, not on printed sheets of paper kept in an oven. I’m sure there’s a name for that kind of plot device, deus ex machina comes to mind.

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