What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes a lot of discussion (though very little imagery) of sexual activity. The protagonist describes her revived sex life to her therapist using explicit language (repeated references to male and female genitals). Characters drink at parties and in their homes.
What's the story?
As PRIME opens, beautiful professional photographer Rafi (Uma Thurman) is newly divorced and worried that she feels "terrible" rather than relieved. Her wise therapist Lisa (Meryl Streep) reassures her that this response is common. Then comes the problem: Rafi meets David (Bryan Greenberg), an aspiring artist who resents his mom's interference in his love life. Their romance begins in some secrecy, which is then extended as she is concerned about their ages: she's 37 and he's 23, a difference that becomes monumental. At first, they educate, or at least entertain, one another: she likes jazz, he likes hip-hop; she introduces him to quail egg sushi and the location of the clitoris, he shares with her his love of Rothko. Things change when Lisa discovers the identity of Rafi's new lover.
Is it any good?
Sometimes clever but more often unsubtle, Prime combines romantic and family comedy formulas. The relationship between Lisa and Rafi remains more intriguing than the romance, even when it's disturbed by the very foreseeable "twist" that David is Lisa's son. Once that happens, the movie lurches into broad and much less interesting comedy. Lisa strains to maintain the professional relationship, and spends sessions trying not to look appalled at Rafi's elaborate descriptions of David's penis.
Lisa and Rafi's differences constitute a tension that is both familiar and remarkable. That the film has to build up the romance in order to complicate the women's relationship is to its detriment (Streep's mugging for the camera while listening to sex stories becomes increasingly unfunny). When the predictable confrontations finally come around, the film has long since run out of energy. Pretending that David's maturation has been its focus all along, Prime awkwardly loses sight of its more substantive relationship.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about questions of trust and betrayal. How does Lisa betray her patient, Rafi, by not telling her she's David's mother? How does the therapist-patient relationship resemble a parent-child relationship, but how is it also different, with regard to expectations of confidence and honesty?