Everyone in Prime is in therapy, so they’re always chirping, “What are you feeling?” I’ll tell you what I’m feeling: I hate this movie. It’s pointless, self-absorbed, puerile and witless. Worse, this so-called romantic comedy is about as sexy as snoring. Climaxing its sins, it is so-o-o boring that a hapless critic has to perform mental gymnastics just to make fun of it. Who’s got such stamina?
New York City. The Present. Sad, shallow, 37-year-old recent divorcee Rafi (Uma Thurman, Kill Bill) is in long-term therapy with Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep), to whom she reveals every detail of her roller-coasting emotional life. Rafi is gorgeous, owns a magnificent Manhattan apartment, waltzes through an exciting job in the fashion industry, and counts lots of supportive gay men among her friends.
Lisa, older and more experienced, should be wise, but she’s not. She displays fabulous beaded necklaces over polyester shirts and has the goofiest hairstyle in the history of hair. How could such a fashion disaster be trustworthy? Lisa’s main goal in life is to have Jewish grandchildren. Unfortunately, her son, David Bloomberg (Bryan Greenberg, The Perfect Score), will need several lifetimes to become a mensch. At 23, he’s living in his grandparents’ apartment, wishing he could be an artist, or at least keep his day job. He’s cute, if you like guys who chew their fingernails.
Rafi and David meet. They lock eyes. He pursues her. Rafi finds David’s pursuit so thrilling that she postpones her ticking biological clock to pursue him back. Bad choice. David moves into Rafi’s apartment and becomes a lazy slob who prefers Nintendo over sex. Understandably, Rafi gets mad. David screams at her and moves into the apartment of his repulsive friend, Morris (Jon Abrahams, House of Wax), who slams women in the face with custard pies. (How would you feel about falling in love with a guy who lets his friend repeatedly assault women and thinks it’s funny? I feel I’d feel exactly the way you’d feel. Run, Rafi, run!)
In their therapy sessions, Lisa encourages Rafi not to worry about robbing the cradle. The lovers are, after all, in their sexual prime (get it — Prime?). Eventually Lisa realizes that Rafi’s tales of ecstatic sex involve her own precious little prince. Oy vey! Not only is Rafi 14 years older than David, she’s not even Jewish! But, get this, ethical watchdogs: Instead of immediately finding Rafi another therapist, Lisa continues to treat her, rationalizing that the inappropriate romance will end soon.
Finally, Rafi discovers the truth — her therapist is her lover’s mother. Egads. You’d feel something is about to happen, right? Wrong. Conjure up feelings of utter rage, hoodwinked audience members. Instead of beating her betraying therapist to a pulp and dragging her to court, Rafi comes to dinner to meet the rest of the family. Go ahead, feel sick. I did.
And for all of you gals who were hoping Prime might be cute about that older woman/younger man thing — forget it. This stupid movie doesn’t even have a happy ending. I feel like screaming, “Give me my money back! ” Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content including dialogue, and for language.
— reviewed by Marci Miller