It was probably only a matter of time. Reese Witherspoon is a familiar face in a rom-com. It’s been a while, but it’s still familiar. And Ashton Kutcher too. I can’t say I’m a fan of Ashton Kutcher like as a celebrity. But… I did enjoy What Happens in Vegas (with Cameron Diaz) and I’m not embarrassed to admit I REALLY enjoyed No Strings Attached (with Natalie Portman – I KNOW, right?!) which is FAR superior to Friends With Benefits, a movie with almost the exact same plot starring Justin Timberlake and Ashton’s now-wife Mila Kunis. So it’s almost surprising that it’s taken this long for Reese and Ashton to be in a rom-com together but here we are.
They’re in New York shooting Your Place or Mine, about “two long-distance best friends who change each other’s lives when she decides to pursue a lifelong dream and he volunteers to keep an eye on her teenage son”. I can’t decide if this is on formula or not. There’s a home exchange involved in the story, which definitely meets the rom-com qualification but the teenage son part is … well… it’s new rom-com. A lot of the romance novels and horny books that are being published these days have widened the character scope of rom-com characters to include single moms. And that makes a LOT of sense. Think of who rom-coms appeal to: women, and not just never-been-married-or-not parents women. So that’s definitely a formula these days especially in rom-com publishing, it’s just not the formula that we recognise from the movies during the rom-com boom of the 90s when all the female lead characters were called “Kate” and worked at a magazine or an advertising agency.
Your Place or Mine also stars Jesse Williams, so that’s on formula too – a second male character who complicates things. According to formula, Reese ends up with Ashton. But in 2021/2022, does that formula change? Will Jesse be The One? Script details are being kept under wraps, although with rom-coms and their audience (me!) it’s not like a spoiler here and there is going to have an impact on interest. I’m still trying to gauge my own interest with this one. But I did laugh at these shots of them on set because if we’re talking about formulas, the images here check all the boxes.
A carefree walk through the park in New York!
Handsome man in a suit leaves an office building!
Classic rom-com montage material!