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Reviews & Ratings for
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187 out of 274 people found the following review useful:

Way Better Than It Has Any Right to Be

9/10
Author: botner from Chicago
15 October 2005

A great, great movie, especially when one considers the stinkers that usually litter the romantic comedy landscape.

This movie was smart, funny and most importantly, REAL. The cheese is held to a minimum and characters do and say things that real people say. No monologues that sound like they were cribbed from 'Chicken Soup for the Soul', just real people reacting to each other and their circumstances.

Meryl Streep is great in this (and this is coming from a straight, twenty-something male) and Uma Thurman and Brian Greenberg have a real chemistry together. There are some real classic lines in this and it's a million times funnier and smarter than say, 'Monster in Law' or 'Just Like Heaven'.

As one who usually cringes my way through 9 out of 10 'chick flicks' this is the rare one out the ten that passes muster, and does so in a big way. I fear that this movie will be overshadowed by a bunch of other new releases when it comes out, but this one really deserves an audience.

Very underrated. One of the better films I've seen all year.

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75 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: Prime

7/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
26 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Perhaps this was touted as a romantic comedy with a psycho-analytical character thrown in, kind of like Analyse This and Analyse That. Put the characters in a crazy premise, and see how their relationship work out. Meryl Streep stars as Lisa, a psychologist to Uma Thurman's Rafi, who, unknowingly to both, is dating her son David.

Rafi's just been freshly divorced, and has only Lisa to talk to about her problems, and new life found when she met a new man in her life. She lies about David's age (increased it from 23 to 27), and wonders if a younger man would be suitable for her. You know it's situational comedy time when Lisa finds out about the truth, and discovers that she's caught between maternally protecting her son from a non-Jewish girl and frowning upon their relationship, and the conflict of interest between herself as a professional, and her client.

While the trailers seemed to suggest that most of the film will dwell on this aspect, and provide many laughable moments, this film is actually more serious that it looks in examining two major issues - that of religion, and the age gap between lovers.

David is an aspiring artist who's bumming around in life, until he met Rafi and moves in with her. While initially a novelty - Rafi enjoys and exhilarates about the sex and his manhood to Lisa (uh oh), though through cohabitation she starts to discover that David is still immature in his manners, and this gets personified in a hilarious scene where he prefers to spend more time on his Nintendo. Being 37, she feels her biological clock ticking, and wonders if she would be selfish to impose on David and have him grow up quickly. Given the age gap, it's also about sacrifices that one would make to bridge the difference, especially in expectations from the relationship (though in the beginning, it's all about the sex).

Like most romances, boy meets girl, boy woos girl, boy falls out of favour with girl. David has issues with telling his estranged mother about his relationship with Rafi, first because of their 14 year age gap, but more importantly, he knows that religion will play a major part in having her accepted as part of the family. Which makes you wonder about real life romances as well, the role of religion in a relationship, if it has the power to make, or break.

Uma Thurman is already 35, but still looks ravishing on screen, despite a few visible wrinkles. Newcomer (well, TV veteran) Bryan Greenberg holds his own as the young adult David Bloomberg, especially against veteran Meryl Streep.

Prime is a bittersweet tale, and I find it set in realism. Gone are the overplayed lovey-dovey moments, and I welcome the fact that with every relationship there are issues, and the major ones are the obstacles which determine if the relationship can survive, or not.

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136 out of 232 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious, but also realistic, romantic comedy

10/10
Author: kyle wagner from United States
22 September 2005

This movie was the opener for the San Diego Film Festival. It was amazing. I thought it was just going to be another "let's find out about ourselves" romantic drama, but it was engrossing from the start. It's funny throughout, without resorting to slapstick (not that there's anything wrong with that, just that slapstick tends to be overused). The characters are realistic, each reacting to the other in believable ways, but it ends up with mostly hilarious outcomes.

No spoilers here, but the rough idea is that an older, just-divorced woman (Uma Thurman) gets romantically involved with a much younger man (Bryan Greenberg). At the same time, she's working out her guilt over dating this younger guy with her therapist (Meryl Streep). But everyone's got a lot more depth than you'd expect and there's a lot more going on than just this surface activity. I think what I liked most about this premise is that it's complex but not contrived. And I liked how the story developed - it just flowed naturally from what each character seemed to want or need.

This is a well-put-together movie. The script (Ben Younger, also the director) is really tight - characters say things that you can believe, never more than they need to, and you always feel you got a bit more truth out of every scene. And just about every single line is perfect. I wouldn't say that about many movies. Younger said in comments afterwards that he worked on the script for 8 years. I believe it. It's really that good.

The actors were incredible. All the leads (Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg) were wonderful, as were the supporting roles. When I think of Meryl Streep, I think of heavy dramas, but here I saw just how funny she could be. I loved the exchanges between Streep and Thurman's characters, and between Thurman and Greenberg. You just feel like you're a part of what's going on and can't stop watching. Everyone seemed to be performing at their peak in this movie.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. I think most adults, particularly those 25+, will enjoy it. It's not really a chick-flick. It's sort of like Chasing Amy, L.A. Story or When Harry Met Sally in its honesty. It's funnier than just about any movie I can think of, regardless of genre (that includes movies like As Good as it Gets, The Ref, Blazing Saddles, O Brother Where Art Thou, Grosse Pointe Blank, Sixteen Candles), and provides powerful insights into relationships.

I hope Younger does more good work like this in the future, it's nice to see a movie that's worth the ticket price!

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45 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Not the typical Hollywood rom-com.

8/10
Author: Robert Farcasanu from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
21 May 2006

Prime stars Deer Hunter actress Meryl Streep and Pulp Fiction actress Uma Thurman. It was written and directed by Boiler Room writer/director Ben Younger. I thought this movie was really good. The acting by Streep and Thurman was incredible. And the story was genius with an unexpected ending.

I'm sure you know the typical rom-com. Two people meet, have a great time together, something gets in the way, they break up, they get back together, and they get married and have lots of sex and babies and everything is just wonderful. Well this is different. Halfway through you are just positively convinced that this is how Prime is going to end. But it doesn't. That's all I'm going to say; see for yourself.

Meryl Streep was hilarious as the Jewish mother/shrink. I loved her. Besides the un-clichéd ending, she is the highlight of the movie.

Overall I thought this was a really good movie. It was one of the few movies where I didn't look at the clock to figure how much time there is left of the movie. It was entertaining and cliché-free. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.

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49 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Meryl

7/10
Author: Donald Agustamarian from London, England
20 November 2005

Meryl Streep is the closest actress we've got to the great old stars of yesteryear. Bette Davis comes to mind. Meryl was trim and sexy a couple of years a ago in "Adaptation" now in "Prime" she's a matronly Jewish mom filled with sense and sensibility. She is also very funny and the main reason to see this Jewish American farce. When she's on, we're on. I believed and enjoyed her predicament. I only wish the script, dealing with the relationship of Uma Thurman and Bryan Greenberg had been a bit smarter and more engaging. I bought that the sex was great and that Uma was discovering herself through this younger lover but their intimacy is clumsy and their dialogue very slight. It is as if the two Kauffman's of "Adaptation" were at work here and that the scenes involving Meryl were written by one and the scenes with the lovers by the other. The former ones however makes the evening a very pleasant one.

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65 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

Really a "Chick Flick"?

Author: melmarq from Portland, ME
12 November 2005

I was initially reluctant to watch this film but my girlfriend wanted to check it out. After seeing it I must admit that the film did surpass my expectations - primarily since I felt that it was not really a "chick-flick" per se. The film tends to center around the guy 100% of the time. Call it a "guy-flick" from a woman's perspective. While I'm not at all a Meryl Streep fan, I felt that she carried the movie for the time that she was on the screen. Uma Thurman can't help but be the stunningly beautiful Uma Thurman that she always is. Without spoiling anything, I think that the ending was perfectly real compared to most romantic comedies that have been released in the past. This film was one of the more pleasant surprises for me this year. At the very least it will make for a great DVD rental if you're a guy who is as reluctant to see it as I was originally.

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39 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

old-hat, prejudiced and lacking a constructive message

1/10
Author: yamaneko from Japan
14 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Failing to see anything remotely comical about this movie, I found it just rattled out old stereotypes about age and race without confronting these issues in any kind of depth. What was particularly disappointing is to see again that Hollywood still fails to confront the fact that meaningful, long-term relationships exist between partners in which the woman is significantly older than the man (including a large number of theatrical pairings). Not only was the relationship portrayed utterly shallow, but there was no attempt whatsoever to introduce any discussion of how the various obstacles the couple faced might be overcome.

Ultimately, the movie left a string of unanswered 'whys'. Why, for instance, should it be taken for granted that fatherhood would spoil the life of a 24-year-old man, even when he has made the decision himself to go through with it? Why should children be a curse and a life-spoiler? (and is this the message we should be giving young men?) Why should maturity be portrayed as dull and pedestrian, and youth as frivolous and unable to cope with the weightier issues of life? Why did David have to be so pitifully immature when others his age are already in, and enjoying, responsible positions? Does a meaningful, long-term relationship necessarily have to preclude an individual from any kind of adventure of self- realization?

The film might have been improved had David and Rafi achieved any kind of a meaningful conversation, but since they failed to do this, being too preoccupied with bedtime gymnastics or quarreling, we were denied any access to the thought-processes behind the decisions they made, particularly the most important decisions, to go for a baby (on David's part), and to separate. Had the couple been shown debating their issues rationally - instead of simply breaking up every time they hit a problem - the film might have given a helpful insight into the nature of relationships.

Finally, although this film was obviously trying to set up some kind of a 'this is how things really are, folks' ending, I fail to see why relationship failure is any more realistic a conclusion than happily-ever-after. It's just another all-or-nothing, black-and-white Hollywood oversimplification. Surely a more interesting and unusual ending to such a movie would be to show how people somehow manage to muddle through together, not in dramatic epic fireworks, but in finding new and constructive ways to confront their problems. But Hollywood seems to abhor anything that is not either implausibly romantic or utterly hopeless.

In short, this was not a particularly insightful or helpful film.

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27 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Feels like real life on screen

8/10
Author: tragic_slider from United States
25 November 2006

I happened to catch the second half on HBO one night. I saw the entire movie a few nights later. I could easily watch it through again -- I was really drawn into the movie. I had to look it up on IMDb just because I was thinking about it so much.

There's a lot of negative reviews here, much more than the movie deserves. Movies are like people -- some you despise, many leave you indifferent, and some just really *click*. My roommate came back from "Saw III" hyper and proclaiming it the "BEST movie EVER!!!" -- I can guarantee you he wouldn't care for this. "Prime" also doesn't have any of the typical emotional manipulations found in your average rom-com. It makes do with much subtler if still dramatic material. For example: the meeting between Rafi and David is low-key, slightly awkward, nothing like, say, the Ferris wheel scene in "The Notebook". Ryan Gosling threatening suicide to get a date is certainly entertaining, but it also leaves me slightly detached, too aware this is a story for my viewing pleasure.

"Prime" is the anti-"Grease". There's nothing STYLIZED about it; no fairy-tale ending. If you can do with such accoutrements you'll be sucked in, especially if you can relate to the very upper-middle-class New York viewpoint that permeates it. Another reviewer was quite insightful in comparing it to "Annie Hall".

As for the relentless disparagement of Bryan Greenberg in the male lead: you've got to be kidding me!!!! He doesn't play the role the way, say, a young Al Pacino would play it. His persona is understated, relaxed almost to the point of passivity, slightly unsure, sarcastic and naive and vulnerable all at once. Completely believable as a 23-year-old who would appeal to and be attracted to a 37-yr-old divorcée. A more typical male lead his age wouldn't be dating Uma Thurman, he'd be charming Natalie Portman or Jessica Alba. Take the scene where he's trying to connect with the stoic doorman -- I totally cracked up and at the same time couldn't help but admire how true-to-life it felt. Everything about that scene bespoke an upper-middle-class 20-something living with his grandparents and lacking direction.

Not to mention that the intimacy between Rafi and David felt so natural that I felt convinced that Uma and Bryan had something off-screen during filming. The way they looked at each other, shared each other's space... the lust didn't seem acted, I'll put it that way.

To Ben Younger: despite all the people out there who don't get it, there are some of us who do. You really did an amazing job, and I doubt I'll ever forget "Bubbe" knocking herself with that frying pan... Lol.

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37 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Poor Film, Ugly Message

1/10
Author: ottumbo from United States
8 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is abominable. Its primary message is that only people of the same background and the same age can have a long-term relationship. As for the reviews calling this film "hilarious," I have had more laughs at funerals. No wonder this film disappeared from the box office so quickly. The film concerns a 37-year-old woman (Thurman) who is getting over a divorce and going to a therapist (Streep). In a very uninteresting scene, she becomes involved with a 23-year old man (Greenberg) who happens to be the son of the therapist. Streep's facial contortions as she discovers this unpleasantness comprise the film's best moments, and indicate how one-dimensional this film is. To fill out the time, the film has countless shots of Thurman and Greenberg making out and taking their tops off. There are also some very uninteresting subplots involving idiotic friends. In addition, Greenberg's character is unrealistic. A childlike boy who spends his time watching television or playing video games, he has nonetheless managed to paint about a thousand masterpieces without a shred of art instruction, but for some reason his family (yes, his therapist mother included) disapprove of his artistic bent. As for the other characters, none possess any qualities that would set them apart from cardboard cutouts. I wish Hollywood films would mature to the level of European films, which are capable of handling relationships of people from different ages and backgrounds in an adult manner. I regret having wasted my time seeing this film.

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40 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

NOT a romantic comedy, and a good film

7/10
Author: siderite from Romania
18 December 2005

This is a situational movie. People get into and out of interesting situations and you might be amused by it, feel romantic or feel bad, but this does not define the romantic comedy genre as I see it. You don't watch this movie to feel good about the romantic endeavors that litter your brain but are almost never real, nor do you watch it to laugh at what is going on.

I especially liked the fact that Uma Thruman didn't play the role of the stupid blonde that she got in some of her latest movies and also that the movie tried to capture reality more than fantastic situations that no one can relate to and that always end in happy ending.

Mix Jewishness, visits to the psychologist, divorcées in the fashion business having gay friends and dating younger guys and you get ... New York. :) Well, this is a good movie. A lot of the clichés one would expect in a New Yorkish movie are broken or not existent and the ones that are left are well blended into the plot.

There isn't much to say about the plot that wouldn't spoil it, so I will not say anything. Uma Thurman plays well, Merryl Streep is always a good actress, but in this movie manages not the be annoying as well, which I think is a step up for her. My wife asked me to keep it, so I guess if I enjoyed it and also did she, then it's a winner all around.

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