Uma Thurman’s had a strange career. In between wondrous hits like Baron Munchausen, Dangerous Liaisons, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill there have been total duds like… where do we start?… The Truth About Cats and Dogs, The Avengers and Be Cool, to pick just three from many. Prime falls definitely into the latter camp. It’s a toyboy rom-com with Uma Thurman (37) falling for Bryan Greenberg (23) and confiding all the bedroom secrets (“his penis is so beautiful, I just want to knit it a hat”) to her therapist, who unbeknown to Uma is the younger man’s mother. Writer/director is Ben Younger who was responsible for the intense money-man drama Boiler Room and is way off his turf here. I can imagine a pitch meeting where the very notion of an older woman and a younger man has come up and been found so amazingly exciting by all concerned that no one has actually gone away and done any work on the characters (“What’s this older woman like?” “Whaddya mean ‘like?’ – she’s older. Older.”) Same with the plot, which runs thus: there’s a scene in which Uma’s age becomes an issue, then a scene in which Greenberg’s youth does, then they put their differences aside, then there’s a scene with the therapist, repeat till closing credits (almost). The therapist-who-is-also-the-parent is played by Meryl Streep and if you’ve ever wanted to see an actress’s forehead semaphoring “Help, I’ve signed up for a dog”, this is the place to see it. Still, it is a lovely advert for Uma, who must have been spitting kittens that she was playing a character older than she actually is (about 34 when this was made). But she compensates with a succession of “I’m still hot” outfits.
© Steve Morrissey 2006