Published Oct 01, 2005Director Ben Younger, best known for his classy directorial debut, Boiler Room, takes a shot at the "romantic comedy" in Prime. Originally slated to star Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman stepped into the role of the older woman who is caught in a May-December romance with a younger man.
Wait? Uma Thurman as "the older woman"? Has it come to this? Apparently so, and it also seems Meryl Streep has succumbed to playing "over the top" Yiddish shrinks. Featuring two actresses that are well above the material in front of them, Prime fails to live up to its name.
The film presents the story of a 37-year-old professional, Rafi (Thurman), who falls for a 23-year-old painter, David (Bryan Greenberg). Rafi struggles with the age difference and voices this to her shrink, Lisa (Streep). However, it turns out Lisa is actually David's mother and suspected hilarity ensues, complete with a neat little package of clichés. There are the Jewish grandparents, David's goofy male sidekick, Rafi's best gay pal, and the story arc that generally finds its way into all romantic comedies these days.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of sparks within Prime that make it a slight cut above most genial recent works. Some jokes work quite well, and the chemistry between Thurman and Greenberg is very convincing. However, Greenberg seems sort of lost between his massive co-stars (his most notable prior work was on the WB series One Tree Hill) and fails to make this his "breakout" role.
Streep is as good as can be expected, if not a bit over the top, and Thurman is more luminous than we've ever seen her in such light fare. All in all, Prime is nothing special, but these days, it's better than most. (Universal)