It won’t ruin anything to tell you that Prime is about a woman who is just coming out of a divorce (which appears to be completely unemotional) and visits a therapist to talk through her problems. Within a week that same woman begins a new relationship with a younger man, of which, turns out to be the therapist’s son. The reason it doesn’t ruin the film is because we all already know the plot from the previews and reading the back cover of the DVD. So we’re not rolling on the floor laughing when we “find out” in the film, neither are we shocked when the movie is horrible and we need a therapist ourselves to figure out why we watched it the whole way through.
Prime is a prime example of why I don’t like romantic comedies. Or in this case, movies that are neither romantic nor a comedy. Meryl Streep, while her “acting” is as key as ever, plays a bad example of a therapist as she is completely unable to hide her true feelings from her patient. Her patient, Uma Thurman, on the other hand has no sense of waiting when it comes to her recent divorce and no clue how to have a meaningful and functional relationship without filling it with her wants. The guy, played by Bryan Greenberg, is of course—that guy. The sensitive yet confident, the artist who yet refuses to display his work, the overly mature, eloquent, say-all-the-right-things-to-a-woman and yet is twenty-three guy. This my friends is why it’s called fiction—cause ain’t none of it true!
This film, and most others like it, are a waste of time, talent, and money. All of the characters are weak and operate on a surface level with no deeper relationships than the Teletubbies. Everyone goes through the motions, speaks at their cue, stands on their mark, and makes no change to the generic nature in which most relationships are theatrically portrayed. Once again, screenwriters try to tell the American public that sex is more of a foundation than any other aspect of a relationship. These characters are “oh so much in love” that as soon as something shakes the sex foundation their relationships crumble. That doesn’t happen with real love, folks! Suddenly, we find that when sex isn’t happening and people (couples) have to deal with each other on a basic level, everything falls apart. “He doesn’t clean up. He doesn’t give her orgasms. He has friends come over and they, egads, have beer. He plays Nintendo.” Ah, there’s the sound of a complaining woman with expectations set higher for her current boyfriend (or husband audition #81) than for any one else she’s ever met.
These films not only are bad films, they give young and insecure women a false sense of what relationships really are, or are supposed to be. No wonder we have such a high divorce rate in this country; these movies are cranked out a dime a dozen. Even the title of this stinker, Prime is a clue to her being thirty-seven and him being twenty-three so that they are both at their sexual peaks. I have but one question. If there were no Viagra and there was no KY, what would all these movies be about? We would have to watch the non-sappy, actual love stories like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Sleepless in Seattle.
There are some good moments in Prime, but certainly not enough to drown out the typical and stereotypical aspects that litter the screen for over one hundred minutes. Uma is disgustingly beautiful and sexually aggressive (she practically eats him from across the table for a kiss in one scene) while Bryan is the timid yet “attentive” satisfier with washboard abs—at twenty-three? Prime is not just emotionally stagnant, it’s a down right septic tank with no potential to be anything more than a box full of shit. Prime is the reason the Oscars were created—so someone would feel left out.
The disc portion of Prime is just as shallow and devoid of meaning as the movie. It’s filler for filler’s sake. Nothing miraculous, and nothing redeeming. And for the record, I swear, and so do several other people I know, I don’t think this movie was called Prime before. I can’t find anything to document this, but no one I know remembers it being called this. And if we’re wrong, and it has been Prime all this time, then I think the title stinks. Prime what? Aside from the sexual peak idea, why Prime?
The first feature we come across is the deleted scenes, which add nothing to the film and no one is sad because they were cut from the final version. They are just that; deleted scenes. The same is true for the outtakes, which don’t necessarily have to be funny to be an outtake; it just has to be a mistake. You just sit around and watch the actors mess up. If it helps, the box does promise “over ten minutes” of these irresistible scenes and bloopers. Wow, a whole ten minutes and then some!
Next we have “Prime-time Players” where you see the interviews with the actors involved in the film, as well as the writer/director and a producer trying to explain their way out of why they were involved in a bad film. Now we all know that these people mean well, they didn’t know they were making a bad movie. This whole extra just makes me feel bad for these people that got behind this script and genuinely thought the characters would come across as well-rounded individuals.
Sometimes I watch extras and at least understand what the film creators and actors were going for and can respect that. It almost makes the film better. But that didn’t happen here. They said the movie is supposed to be a film about love. Falling in love for the sake of love itself. They ask us, the audience, to consider what if we see a film that is purely for love but doesn’t necessarily mean anyone ends up together in the end? Well, the answer is that this is not the film to challenge that.
Finally, there’s the standard audio commentary with Ben Younger, the writer and director of the film, and Jennifer Todd, one of the producers. They spend their time talking about the different shots, flirting with each other, making jokes about the production, laughing, and generally sounding like they’re two girls at a slumber party. If the commentary has any value at all, then it’s only helping some future film crew learn all about New York. Younger and Todd talk about what parts of New York the characters are from, supposedly setting you up for their stories, but for anyone that has never been to New York, those things don’t come across in the film at all. They talk about their little inside jokes, the funny lines they liked, and other ordinary things, which might have made a difference if they showed it through the film, but they didn’t. The whole situation is just a train wreck. The flick itself isn’t anything to write home about, but then here we are poking at its afterbirth with a remote. I can’t look anymore. Just turn it off. Turn it off.
Reviewed By: Margaret Williams
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