If you’re ready to relax with a new romantic comedy, this Netflix film has you covered. Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher star in Your Place or Mine as Debbie Dunn and Peter Coleman, one-time lovers turned long-distance best friends. When career training requires Debbie to spend a week in Peter’s home city of New York, he offers her his apartment and travels to her home in Los Angeles to babysit her son.
Recently Witherspoon met with Late Night host Seth Meyers to discuss the film that debuted on February 10. The interview quickly turned to memories of their shared experience on Saturday Night Live in 2001 and a special memento that Meyers still keeps in his office.
Seth Meyers met Reese Witherspoon on his first day at ‘Saturday Night Live’
Meyers’ path to stardom began after graduation from Northwestern University when the New Hampshire native joined an Amsterdam-based improv troupe called Boom Chicago. As seen on IMDb, Meyers eventually caught the eye of an SNL casting director at the Chicago Improv Festival and was flown to New York to audition. He joined the SNL cast for the first show of the 2001 season, the same day as his would-be “Weekend Update” cohost, Amy Poehler.
That episode, which aired on September 29, was the first since the devastating attacks on 9/11. Witherspoon, who was hosting, met Meyers and Poehler on their first day. According to the HuffPost, Meyers appeared with Poehler the following week in his first televised sketch, “Patriotic Shorts,” featuring Will Ferrell wearing an American flag-patterned thong.
Meyers went on to develop a number of recurring characters like the wisecracking physicist Dave “Zinger” Clinger. In 2006 Meyers was promoted, taking Tina Fey’s place as the show’s head writer and co-anchor of “Weekend Update.” After Poehler left the show in 2008, Meyers continued to host the segment alone.
The key to Meyers’ success runs much deeper than just his talent as a writer and performer. During his run at SNL, he created a positive working environment, mentored new castmates, and made everyone around him shine. As the HuffPost reported, “It’s impossible to find someone who has worked with Meyers who will say an unkind thing about him.”
On February 1, 2014, Meyers tearfully left the show to replace SNL alum Jimmy Fallon as the host of Late Night. “I worked at this show for over 12 years,” Meyers said on the SNL stage in 2018. “I loved it. I love being here. Leaving it was incredibly hard. I cried on my last show, and then I, for real, took a job down the hall.”
This framed ticket makes Seth Meyers think of Reese Witherspoon every day, but not in a creepy way
On February 8th, 2023, Witherspoon joined Meyers on the set of Late Night to talk about her new Netflix film and remembered Meyers’ first show at SNL. “…I’ll never forget meeting you and Amy and thinking, ‘Oh my God, these people are so talented. This is going to be so good,’” Witherspoon remarked.
“It was also, you know if we’re really talking about that day, the craziest thing about that show is it was two weeks after 9/11,” Meyers said. “It was, you know, this insane time here, and it was really grounding to be able to go to work and actually do something for people.”
“It was terrifying. Yeah, it was a terrifying time,” Witherspoon said, “…and Lorne (Michaels) was so adamant that people needed to laugh.” BuzzFeed reports that the cast and crew weren’t even sure that the show should resume after the tragedy, so Michaels asked then-mayor Rudy Giuliani for permission. Giuliani joined him in the cold opener alongside first responders to honor them and encourage a fearful nation.
Meyers and Witherspoon agreed that the show was amazing, which brought Meyers to the ticket bearing Witherspoon’s name. “When I left (SNL), there was this producer named Kenny Aymong who used to do this wonderful thing where he would give you the ticket of your first show and your last show, framed. So I’ve got my Reese Witherspoon ticket on my office wall right now.”
“Oh, my God! That’s awesome,” said Witherspoon. “So I think about you every day,” Meyers said. Witherspoon responded: “Oh my gosh!”
“Very fondly,” Meyers continued, grinning. “Not in a creepy way. Just like, yeah, just like in a normal healthy, the way people should think about Reese Witherspoon every day.”
‘Your Place or Mine’ starring Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher has mixed reviews
According to Rotten Tomatoes, most critics were unimpressed. While the film is upbeat and well-cast, it is, like many in the genre, formulaic and predictable. Some critics expected far more from first-time director Aline Brosh McKenna, who also wrote the Oscar-nominated film, The Devil Wears Prada. Though critic Rex Reed called Your Place or Mine “About as romantic and funny as a root canal,” K. Austin Collins of Rolling Stone observed, “Your Place or Mine is fascinatingly at odds with who these people are. It’s more entertaining for it, squaring a circle for our benefit.”
“Trouble is, we know the film’s stars are capable of so much more,” critic Christy Lemire wrote for Roger Ebert.com. “Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher are, of course, great-looking and charismatic, and both have perfectly snappy comic timing after all these years. So it’s frustrating watching them try to take this safe, bland material and make it sing.”
In any case, rom-com fans will likely enjoy it, if only a little more than critics — the film currently has a 38% audience score. Witherspoon evokes an overprotective motherly version of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. Kutcher is earnest, responsible, and downright charming as a mentor to Debbie’s 13-year-old son, played by Wesley Kimmel. Curl up on the couch with your favorite snacks, and see for yourself.