Making the Grades
Meryl Streep is primed and ready to play the role of a New York psychoanalyst. As Lisa Metzger, she counsels with a 37-year-old woman who works in the fashion industry.
When Rafi Gardet's (Uma Thurman) marriage goes sour, Lisa is by her side offering encouragement through the entire divorce process. When Rafi meets a new man only two weeks later, Lisa supports her 100%, even though the guy is considerably younger. Listening to intimate details of the couple's wild sexual escapades, the therapist agrees wholeheartedly with her patient's desire to find happiness as a recently single woman.
But Lisa's unreserved approval for her client's actions comes to an impasse when she unwittingly realizes the body she has heard so thoroughly described belongs to none other than her 23-year-old son. Torn between her professional ethics and the moral dilemma she feels as a mother, she ends up visiting the couch of her own therapist for guidance.
Meanwhile, as the romance blossoms between Rafi and Dave (Bryan Greenberg), they discover they're dealing with more differences than just a span in birthdates. Well-established in her job, Rafi has impressive connections in the corporation. She likes to spend relaxing weekends at the cottage of her wealthy gay friends in a prestigious locale, and is into fine wine and expensive art. Dave, on the other hand, is just acquiring a taste for beer, lives with his grandparents in Brooklyn and hangs around with a socially inept friend (Jon Abrahams) who can't get past the first date with a girl. Painting as a hobby, Dave is also stuck in entry-level jobs while looking for a career.
In fact, the only thing they seem to have in common is their highly sexualized physical attraction. While the film offers a brief comment about safe sex, the shadowed bedroom scenes, passionate kisses and candid discussions leave little to the imagination and in no way support the seemingly token statement.
In addition to the more obvious concerns, Lisa also worries about her son marrying outside of his religious faith and the effect it will have on his future children. Although these apprehensions are dealt with in a fairly positive manner, the script is hindered by frequent coarse language and alcohol use.
Aside from some well-crafted scenes between Streep and Thurman, the script suffers from the indecisive and often immature nature of the unlikely couple. Despite their dissimilarities, they can't walk away from their lusty desires and are caught up in an endless cycle of an on-again/off-again relationship. After a while, it's impossible to believe it could ever evolve into a long-term commitment--even if both characters are in their Prime.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Prime.
Why does Lisa give different advice concerning moral issues to her clients than she does to her children? How does she balance her own beliefs with the advice she hands out?
According to Lisa, how important is religion in a relationship? Do you think it is better to wed within your belief system? What challenges can come from interfaith marriages?