Prime is the story (I am reluctant to label it as a romantic comedy) of a 37-year-old, recent divorcee’, Rafi Gardet (Uma Thurman) and her struggle with the emotional baggage from her failed marriage, who while in the process of undergoing therapy, falls in love with a man David Bloomberg (Bryan Greenberg) 14 years her junior. Rafi’s therapist, Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep), is privy to all of the intimate details of her relationship with David.
During the course of Rafi’s therapy, Lisa deduces that Rafi is dating her son, David. After learning that her son is Rafi’s romantic interest, Lisa is put in the understandably awkward position of listening to all of Rafi’s innermost thoughts and the sordid details of her relationship with him. Upon finding out that her therapist is her lover’s mother, Rafi feels that she has been deceived. Her feelings of betrayal by her therapist subsequently start to disintegrate her relationship with David.
Prime is replete with scenes that exude insight and undeniable authenticity with respect to familial and romantic relationships. This film would be more accurately described as a “romantic dramady” rather than a romantic comedy. The major strength of this film is that it is admittedly cultivated from Younger’s own life experience. An interesting, premise, creative storyline, and believable dialogue, all add up to a thoroughly enjoyable film. Thurman, Greenberg, and Streep all deliver above par performances.
Other notable performances include Ato Essandoh, who played the Damien, the stoic concierge at Rafi’s apartment building, who had very little dialogue, but had some of the funnier moments in the movie and Naomi Aborn and John Rothman as David’s charming grandparents. Labeling Prime as a romantic comedy only serves to undervalue and inaccurately describe the true tone and content of the story. Writer-Director, Ben Younger, pushes the initial premise of Prime to its full comedic potential while artfully infusing the story with a welcome dose of reality and intelligence. Prime is a breath of fresh air among the recent multitude of mindless, vapid, romantic comedies.
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