- Ben Younger
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Rafi (Uma Thurman) is in the middle of an ugly divorce when she meets David (Bryan Greenberg), a struggling Jewish artist who is 14 years younger than she. They start dating despite their different lifestyles, but matters get really complicated when Rafi’s therapist Lisa (Meryl Streep) finds out that the man Rafi is dating is her son.
From the outside the movie might seem to be nothing more than a simple comedy with a premise that will hardly sustain its entire running length. But I was glad to discover that such is not the case. Prime is a romantic comedy with a keen eye towards relationships and the difficulties inherent to them. Sure, the are moments of broad comedy that are laugh-out-loud funny, but they work because of the restraint of the actors in not going over-the-top and the work of the director, who keeps it real at every turn.
So is it really a movie that resembles the work of Woody Allen? It is different, perhaps broader in its tone, but yes, there are similarities. Therapists, Jewish-ness, lovers, misunderstandings, New York, it is all there. And it works. We identify with the characters, we understand their struggles and we’re interested in their outcome. The movie is filled with rich details that give it both intelligence and honesty, whether it’s in the relationship between an older woman and a younger man, a non-Jewish woman and a Jewish guy or a Jewish mother and her son. It also doesn’t take the easy way out, which I thoroughly appreciated.
Meryl Streep is wonderful and a real pleasure to watch. She gives soul to a character that could’ve become a caricature and she just excels with every gesture and every line. She’s funny and touching and difficult and she does it all with ease. Uma proves to be a terrific counterpart, in a role that requires her to be a normal human being, with as much qualities as she has flaws. She’s radiant and I couldn’t get enough of her. Bryan Greenberg, stuck between these two talented actresses, holds his own and makes us believe in David. A nice trio...
“His penis was so beautiful I wanted to knit it a little hat.”
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