Rom-Com Reality

Peter, for example, is a Manhattan marketing consultant with commitment problems. Early on, he breaks up with his latest girlfriend at the six-month mark; in his next scene, he has a near-identical conversation with his latest corporate clients. (The clients take it harder.) Debbie, a risk-averse single mother in Los Angeles, is pilloried with advice from one friend (Tig Notaro) — “Get your degree, find a man, then come home and redo your kitchen” — and escapes only to immediately collide with a second pesky pal (Rachel Bloom), who tacks on that the self-sacrificial parent should also pursue her dream job as a book editor.

The pacing of these scenes feels as though we’re trapped in a spaceship airlock and can only faintly remember what natural life felt like back home on Earth. It only takes a squint to see that Debbie’s adorable foibles — rules scribbled on Post-it notes stuck all over the house, an insistence that her overprotected 13-year-old son (Wesley Kimmel) is allergic to everything from grass to fun — would, in reality, demand an intervention and, perhaps, a diagnosis of Munchausen by proxy. But no one in this movie is playing anything near a human being, although Kutcher occasionally resembles one when he lowers his head, crinkles his eyes and chuckles.

‘Your Place or Mine’ Review: Try Neither
This humdrum Netflix romantic comedy features Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher as longtime friends with possibly hidden feelings for each other.
Amy Nicholson