The Rafi Therapy
“Prime” is about a gorgeous 37 year-old woman named Rafi (Uma Thurman) dating a 23 year-old guy named Dave (Bryan Greenberg), whose mother also happens to be Rafi’s therapist named Lisa, who also happens to be played by Meryl Streep, who also happens to be the greatest living movie actress on Earth, which also happens to be the planet I’m in. Gee, what coincidences! Kidding. But to me, the older woman-younger man premise sounded like something that would play out like a sitcom. It did, but not badly as I feared. This is thanks to the professional actors who portrayed their characters as honestly as they can.
As expected, the memorable scenes are between Thurman and Streep in therapy sessions. Once Lisa finds out that Rafi is dating her son, she is hilariously in discomfort, trying to keep a straight face while Rafi talks about Dave’s penis. Ha. But the meaty scenes are truly between Thurman and Greenberg. I was surprised how attentive I was in their budding romance. I think the three principal actors are pretty solid here, despite a mediocre plot. As usual, Streep is Streep-tastic (sorry, a simple “fantastic” don’t cut it anymore). Really, when does the woman disappoint? Uma Thurman is sexy and luminous as always. I guess the surprise here is actor Bryan Greenberg. He really steps up his game as this charming dream guy. As great as Streep and Thurman were, the movie would still fail if Greenberg was a fiasco. Thank goodness, the leading man pulls through.
I was going grade “Prime” higher. But I realized I overlooked the predictability of the plot because I was smitten with the characters. I appreciate that “Prime” aspires to have the feel of a New York-ish Woody Allen movie. Although it’s lacking much wit, it admirably attempts to be honest, thoughtful, heartfelt, and neurotic. I prefer this than your typical fairy-tale romantic comedy, where two beautiful people, who clearly belong together, are temporarily separated by contrived and comedic obstacles. “Prime” steps in the right direction, but unlike its title, it’s not quite in its prime.
Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, Bryan Greenberg, Jon Abrahams, Adriana Biasi, David Younger, Palmer Brown, and Zak Orth
Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content including dialogue, and for language