Uma Thurman as Rafi Gardet
Meryl Streep as Lisa Metzger
Bryan Greenberg as David Bloomberg
Jon Abrahams as Morris
Zak Orth as Randall
Annie Parisse as Katherine
Aubrey Dollar as Michelle
Jerry Adler as Sam
Doris Belack as Blanch
Ato Essandoh as Damien
David Anzuelo as Bodega Counterman
Naomi Aborn as Dinah Bloomberg
Commentary by: Director Ben Younger and Producer Jennifer Todd
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 106 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
“When Rafi (Uma Thurman), a 37-year-old divorcee, meets David (Bryan Greenberg), a 23-year-old painter, it’s love at first sight. But that love gets complicated – fast – when Rafi discovers that David is also the son of her therapist (Academy Award winner Meryl Streep). Rafi’s about to discover that professional help is going to get very personal. Join the delightful, entertaining comic hit that critics are calling “a funny and very sexy comedy” (Jess Cagle, WCBS/People Magazine).”
Prime is rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content including dialogue, and for language.
I was really on board with Prime for the first ¾ of the film. The story was funny, the characters were entertaining, and the acting was good. It was shaping up to be a really good romantic comedy. However, at the very end, it all fell apart and ended on a very unsatisfying note. Heaven help me for saying this, but Prime needed a “Hollywood ending”. It wasn’t what the writer/director intended, but it would have made Prime a lot more fun and would have matched the tone of the rest of the film. I mean, any film that shows a Jewish grandmother whacking herself in the head with a frying pan could use a wacky, feel good ending, right?
Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep are the main reasons that Prime works when it does. Any time they are on screen together is when the movie is working best. The gradual change in their relationship from patient and therapist to mother and son’s girlfriend is masterfully done. Watching Meryl squirm as Rafi describes her physical and emotional relationship with her son is hilarious. The conflicting messages that Streep sends out as therapist and mother are also the source of a lot of laughs. Unfortunately Streep’s role becomes less and less as the film progresses. We really needed to see her at the end.
The rest of the cast isn’t as impressive. Bryan Greenberg is particularly weak as David Bloomberg, Uma’s younger love interest. They keep going on and on about how funny and mature he is, but I didn’t see it at all. It seems to me he was very miscast in the role. The rest of the supporting cast isn’t much better. The only notable one was Jon Abrahams as Morris. He plays the wacky friend that throws pies in the faces of girlfriends he breaks up with. Unfortunately that’s all that’s interesting about him.
Prime is a film filled with a lot of potential but it just falls short of it. Still, writer/director Ben Younger shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing what else he does.
The Prime DVD has your standard offering of bonus features. They start out with the commentary by Director Ben Younger and Producer Jennifer Todd. Since Younger also wrote the film, the two have a lot to say on many aspects of the movie. He talks about his inspiration for the story, his dealings with the actors, and more.
A few deleted scenes are also included. One amusing scene shows Rafi looking at a covered painting in David’s room. I won’t ruin the surprise here, but the painting is strikingly bizarre. There are also some more scenes with Morris and some other minor moments. The outtakes also contain a lot of adlibs by the actors and dialogue flubs. One funny scene shows Thurman spitting out food. Another shows her cracking up with Streep.
The final bonus feature is “Prime-Time Players”, your standard “making of” video. It features interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and more. Writer/Director Ben Younger is praised extensively for his talent and calm on the set.
The Bottom Line:
Fans of romantic comedies, Uma Thurman, and Meryl Streep will definitely want to give Prime a try. While it falls short at the end, it’s a fun enough ride to make it worth checking out.