Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. A prime example of a solid romantic comedy.
  2. 78
    You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this light romantic comedy, but it helps.
  3. 75
    Younger knows it's fun to watch Rafi and David cross lines of age, culture and religion. He also knows it's painful. That's what makes his movie hilarious and heartfelt.
  4. 75
    There are some one-liners that zing not only with humor but truth. On the whole I was satisfied.
  5. Prime serves as yet another showcase for Streep; to prove how expertly she plays a Jewish mother with a Ph.D. in psychology, just imagine Barbra Streisand in the role -- you'd have a farce only a step above slapstick. With Streep, you get a smartly observant comedy that never overplays its hand.
  6. 75
    Yes, Younger has made an update of the ''shiksa who changed my life" story in ''Annie Hall." But Prime is missing the psychological acuity and scabrous cultural wit of Woody Allen at his best. These lovers meet standing in line to see Antonioni's ''Blow-Up" and never mention the movie.
  7. 75
    Prime may have its unlikely moments, but overall its heart is winningly untraditional and in exactly the right place.
  8. 75
    This may sound like Woody Allen - in fact, it often feels like Woody Allen (minus the expected helpings of angst) - but it's not. Prime is from writer/director Ben Younger and, while it's not up to the level of Allen's great romantic comedies ("Annie Hall," "Manhattan"), it's better than anything the acclaimed New York auteur has brought to the screen in recent years.
  9. Despite the snappy brilliance of the setup, Prime doesn't entirely deliver on its promise -- something about the way it ends feels like a cop-out, and the opportunities for humor aren't exploited quite as well as they could be.
  10. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Prime is neither deep nor as shallow as it first threatens to be, but surprisingly good fun.
  11. Sure, this romance, starring Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman and Bryan Greenberg, follows a familiar boy-meets-girl scenario, but Younger turns the routine into combustible fun.
  12. The real revelation here is Streep, who spends every moment comically negotiating her conflicted impulses.
  13. Frankly, the most disturbing thing about Prime is that Uma Thurman is now officially an Older Woman.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Despite its title, Prime is not a cut above. This romantic comedy's predictability and rather dull love story make it the cinematic equivalent of a slightly stale hamburger.
  15. 63
    The sort of movie where all of the best jokes are in the trailer, but these days a romantic comedy with anything worth quoting at all is something of an accomplishment.
  16. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Despite a comic Yiddishe mama turn by Meryl Streep and a sensitively nuanced performance by Uma Thurman in a convincing changeup from her recent kickass action roles, Prime remains an oddly juiceless older woman-younger man romance, with a Freudian twist.
  17. All of this makes the movie pleasant, but not very memorable - a pale mirror image of "Shopgirl," which touches on some similar themes.
  18. 60
    Now that Woody Allen is no longer making acceptable Woody Allen movies, it's surprising we're not seeing more comedies like Prime, a slight but well-meaning picture that strives for the same kind of pleasurably neurotic sophistication that Allen, at his best, used to give us.
  19. Not one bit of the story tracks. But with these women in these roles, you're asking for truth?
  20. Unfortunately, this rich story about actual adults takes up maybe a third of Prime. The rest of the time, we're hanging with David and Rafi as they act out relationship cliches.
  21. 50
    Greenberg and Thurman are both engaging, but they can't quite compensate for their characters' shallowness. Streep, on the other hand, just can't stop compensating. Her oy-vey-can-you-believe-the-kid-and-his-shiksa performance is all studied mannerisms with no real heart.
  22. Younger, for whatever reason, simply can't abide their happiness, and so he destructs the relationship from time to time for no reason, using plot devices that wouldn't have been out of place in episodes of "Three's Company."
  23. 50
    On and on drags this amour fou, with its one-liners, ripostes, elaborate misunderstandings and chastened reaction shots, all courtesy of writer-director Ben Younger, straining to let out his inner femme after the testosterone excesses of "Boiler Room."
  24. I found nothing likable or funny about either of these characters, who both deserve a pie in the face. (One of them even gets it.)
  25. The occasionally amusing, generally fatuous romantic comedy about a dazzling divorcee, a smitten Jewish boy and a controlling Jewish mom who also happens to be the divorcee's psychotherapist, is a high-concept movie with a Yiddish accent.
  26. A romantic saga that dares to ask realistic questions.
  27. Prime seems aimed at prime-time television, with endless iterations on the same theme of "frustrated relationship" that will finally get resolved during sweeps week in the season before cancellation. Call it: My Mama, the Shrink.
  28. The film's greatest asset, however, is its unusually authentic use of Manhattan locations: Younger clearly knows New York much better than the topography of the human heart.
  29. 40
    Not quite a romance by numbers, Prime is nevertheless a movie we need like a hole in the head.
  30. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    This has the raw material for a decent rom-com, but the aimless structure and ambiguous tone undermine both humour and romance.
  31. Reviewed by: Ryan Devlin
    The sheer absurdity of the presented relationship is redeemed by a sort of surprise ending, but by the time it arrives, you wish it had come sooner, as the pain of viewing has already been interminably long.
  32. It has the low-budget look and feel of an indie dating comedy -- and not a very good one at that.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 8 out of 35
  1. Sep 4, 2014
    While Meryl Streep continues to shine, Ben Younger shows promise as a writer and director. The exchanges between therapist and Mother and sonWhile Meryl Streep continues to shine, Ben Younger shows promise as a writer and director. The exchanges between therapist and Mother and son and girlfriend are very fun. Full Review »
  2. AlanG
    Jul 10, 2007
    Meryl Streep is an absolute joy to watch. She can do it all. So her character and the plot weren't totally realistic. But who cares. Meryl Streep is an absolute joy to watch. She can do it all. So her character and the plot weren't totally realistic. But who cares. It's a comedy. In fact I'd say it was somewhat in keeping with the screwball comedies of the 40's. Uma Thurman delivered a first rate performance. It was nice to see her in a non-Tarantino film. The woman can act. I also liked the fact that the ending wasn't your typical Hollywood, everything works out perfectly ending. Full Review »
  3. ChadS.
    Dec 24, 2006
    Because it's Meryl Streep, because she's an actress who radiates intelligence and common sense; the premise for "Prime" is hard to Because it's Meryl Streep, because she's an actress who radiates intelligence and common sense; the premise for "Prime" is hard to swallow (even for a comedy). No therapist alive would subject themselves to their offspring's sex life. That's just plain yucky (and vaguely incestuous), but at least Uma Thurman manages to deliver a truly quotable line which supplies "Prime" with its one gut-busting moment of humor. Had Rafi been written a little more shrewdly, putting a book in her hands would've made for a stronger contrast with David's Nintendo obsession (and therefore better accentuate the disparity of the couple's age and life experiences). Since Rafi works with models (who are thought to be stereotypically dumb), being the smartest girl in the room at her workplace amongst all those hairdressers, photographers and blondes, would've made for a lot of crowd-pleasing, albeit easy jokes. Unfortunately, nothing funny transpires at Rafi's job. As for David's "job", we need to see him at the canvas to better round out his character. He's obviously more than a shiftless slob who camps out all day on Rafi's couch, but that's all "Prime" wants us to see. Full Review »