For Valentine’s Day, Netflix released a new romantic comedy “To you or to me.” Genre stars Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher played the main roles in it. How interesting the love story between their characters turned out to be – we tell you in the review below.
“To you or to me” / Your Place or Mine
Genre romantic comedy
Directed by Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring Ashton Kutcher, Reese Witherspoon, Jess Williams, Tig Notaro, Steve Zahn
Release year 2023
Twenty years ago, hot-tempered Peter and Debbie slept together, but after that they did not work out as a couple. Instead, young people managed to maintain a warm relationship and even became best friends. True, it was just friendship, even without sex.
Today, Peter changes girls like gloves, lives in a luxurious apartment in New York and is afraid to take steps towards his happiness, both professional and personal. Debbie managed to get a family, but now she is raising a teenage son alone and lives in a modest but cute house in Los Angeles.
Despite the fact that the heroes are separated by a great distance, they communicate a lot with each other and seem to share their most secret dreams with each other. One day, Debbie plans to go to New York for a week to take important professional development courses. But later she is forced to abandon this idea due to the fact that at the last moment the babysitter announces a change of plans.
Suddenly, Peter comes to help the unfortunate. The man offers his best friend to sit with the child while she listens to lectures and takes an exam. In this way, the best friends exchange housing (not bodies – and that’s fine) for a week, not yet suspecting that this will turn their usual lives upside down.
“To you or to me” is the directorial debut of experienced screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. She wrote scripts for “27 Weddings”, “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Morning Rise”. McKenna also acts as a screenwriter and already in the second scene skillfully deceives the viewer with the help of a simple visual effect – a polyscreen.
But in fact, it will be almost the only surprise of the film, because it is made according to all the canons of frivolous rom-coms, which were still commonplace in zero. The same Kutcher once built a career on such unpretentious content.
Before us is another story from the category of those where, except for the main characters, it is obvious to everyone that they should be together. But for some reason, often implausible and far-fetched, these fools cannot manage their long-suffering relationships. Here, the local characters waited twenty whole years to finally come to their senses.
With varying degrees of success, other genre-specific elements will appear in the plot. For example, obstacles in the form of new romantic passions, characters-friends, too secondary to have any significant impact on the plot, or banal pop songs.
In many ways, the success of a romantic story also depends on how successful the chemistry between the main characters turns out to be. But the trouble with “To you or to me” is that Witherspoon and Kutcher’s characters are in different cities for almost the entire duration, so there is little time for joint scenes.
Therefore, there is no question of any emotional interaction, except that the actors alone have to show themselves somehow. Makenna deliberately separates the lovers, and sometimes literally, in order to clearly demonstrate their opposites.
Oddly enough, even under such unfavorable conditions, this rom-com as a genre example looks decent and sometimes cute. Reese Witherspoon’s bookish portrayal of Legally Blonde – 20 Years Later is a joy to watch.
And how Ashton Kutcher, who has lost a lot of weight (perhaps due to diagnosed vasculitis), is trying to replace Ch̶a̶r̶l̶i̶ ̶Ш̶y̶n̶a̶ for his teenage father is also moderately interesting. What could be cooler than to open up to a young and bullied kid from “Alien” Ridley Scott, or give some parenting advice?
By the way, Kutcher, who celebrated his 45th birthday on February 7 and, it seems, has not appeared in the main roles in a feature film since the disastrous “Jobs” (which is, for a moment, 10 years!), plays surprisingly restrained, without the usual grimaces. Reese Witherspoon, on the contrary, gives her usual image of a beautiful blonde.
But among the secondary characters, only the glamorous heroine Zoe Chao is memorable. Jess Williams, star of the never-ending medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, plays the role of attractive furniture. All Tig Notaro does is carry around with his coffee. It’s better not to mention Steve Zahn’s stupid party at all.
“To you or to me” is also notable for the fact that it is a real consolation for viewers with conservative views. It is about an ordinary love between a white straight man and a white straight woman. For 2023, there is probably real boredom and idleness. But in other respects, the movie is cute enough to become a suitable addition to a pleasant romantic evening on Valentine’s Day.
Pros: good actors, a bright “glossy” picture, several funny episodes, the overall pleasant atmosphere of the film Cons: a typical rom-com without surprises and, as a result, too obvious predictability, minimal interaction between the main stars Conclusion:
“To you or to me” can be watched on Valentine’s Day. The tape is also recommended for viewing by those viewers who missed romantic comedies of zeros