They still got it.
Today, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher debut a kind hearted, phone-based, best-friendship of 20 years. They love each other. It’s not complicated. They are rarely on screen together, but constantly connected via their phone from separate coasts. This well-paced, not-too-showy, lovely RomCom reveals heart through the formula. The seriousness of single Motherhood isn’t victimized, the realism of sobriety is normalized, and the complications of a 13 year old’s daily struggles are appropriately explored. I smiled and cried more than I expected.
Debbie and Peter are best friends and total opposites. She craves routine with her son in LA; he thrives on change in NY. When they swap houses and lives for a week they discover what they think they want might not be what they really need.
I’ve come to the age when the chemistry matters more than the story, the understated down-to-Earth acting matters more than the glitz, and feeling connected is an impossible feat. Modern high-concept RomComs rarely deliver chemistry – chemistry is NOT charm, sexual explosion, or a certain camera gaze. Chemistry is built slowly. But that time is necessary, chemistry is = waking up to magic before you, over time. This movie takes the time it needs.
As an Angeleno, you’ll have a lot of ‘thoughts’ about Silverlake living (walking over the Shakespeare bridge from home to school, an impossible distance, Angelenos don’t like the misrepresentation of our geography, re: SNL). The personality of Reese Witherspoon‘s “Debbie” takes on the Get-X Earth Mother quality that… fits Silverlake pretty well. It could feel like a comical take, but it’s pretty fun. That’s my old neighborhood, I see that the team cared about California so much so that the New York representation felt less authentic in contrast. Ashton Kutcher‘s “Peter” was supposed to match New York. His New York felt smaller, less important to the story they are telling about Los Angeles. But the time spent on Peter’s backstory and real personal development over the decades was the substance we were hoping for – and found. I could tell you 100 things about Peter and only a handful of things about Debbie in comparison.
Overall, this is a great afternoon chill or a date night movie. Safe for sex-positive ages. Enjoy!
Also, Tig Notaro is a treasure, we do not deserve her. She makes everything a success in my book.