Prayer Focus
Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for sexual content including dialogue, and for language

Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 28, 2005 (wide)
Featuring: Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg, Jon Abrahams, Jerry Adler
Director: Ben Younger
Producer: Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Mark Gordon
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relationship information
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

A therapeutic new comedy

If you watched the trailer to “Prime”, and equate the title to an adult’s sexual prime, you already have a good idea about what there is to review. The movie is both a sex comedy and a drama that is a strong PG-13. According to IMDb it was originally rated R, but on appeal re-rated down to its current PG-13 status.

It opens up with Rafi (Uma Thurman) discussing her divorce with her counselor, Lisa (Maryl Streep). After this first scene, Rafi meets and gets sexually involved with David (Bryan Greenberg). She then tells Lisa intimate details about her sexual encounters with David, neither of them knowing that he is Lisa’s son.

When Lisa does figure out David’s identity, she contemplates what she ought to do as both mother and counselor. She decides to continue counseling Rafi without telling of her relationship to David, but eventually has to confess. At this point, conflict arises between every pair of main characters, and in the end, Rafi and David have to make up their own minds on where their relationship is headed.

Two things seem to have doomed “Prime” before it even started. The movie equates having sex with demonstrating love. In a non-marital relationship, sex demonstrates many things, but true love isn’t one of them. True love really is willing to wait for a commitment from both partners. Rafi is David’s third sex partner, and he has a fourth one before the end of the movie. How is he supposed to be a positive character when he doesn’t care enough about the girl he “loves”?

Another difficulty is that many of the scenes needed to be changed or edited out completely. Several different conflicts were written into the story, but none of them were resolved in the end. Other parts were slow, hard to understand or unrelated to the plot.

In addition to the 40 plus obscenities and profanities, there is a constant use of sexually explicit clothing, discussion and implied (or actual) sex. These include several extended lovemaking scenes between David and Rafi, Rafi talking about David’s genitals to Lisa, and a weekend stay by the couple at a homosexual resort run by some of Rafi’s friends.

Considering this was a comedy, there wasn’t much laughter from the audience. It just wasn’t that funny. Even if you like this kind of movie, I think you will be disappointed. You might want to save your money and wait for the DVD. If this isn’t your forte, you may want to skip it altogether.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Neutral—The film was offensive in some scenes, especially when David’s mom was talking with Rafi, but I did, also, find it somewhat funny. I think the movie producers/writers were a little heavy on the family being Jewish and against his dating a woman 15 years older—more because of her religion than her age. Both issues were raised, but neither was really resolved. The movie left you feeling that you had not really seen how the story ended. After spending money and two hours, I want to know how things really end up.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
—Nina Nesom, age 37
Positive—…I found the movie extremely funny. Maybe because I am Jewish and there are a lot of jokes that non-Jews would not understand. …I already saw this movie twice and each time everybody was laughing. I even went there once with my father, and he really enjoyed it, and none of us thought that the sexual part was too strong. …I think it is worth it to see the movie just to have a sense of what Judaism is in the United States.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Chloe Markowicz, age 20
Movie Critics
…It’s a TV dramedy, a Sex in the City or, to cite the exact source plagiarized, that ’80s classic thirtysomething—with a dash of Seinfeld, Mad About You and every Woody Allen comedy about Jewish men dating shiksas…[3/5]
—Orlando Sentinel, Roger Moore
…a comedy about sex… some laughs but is mostly uncomfortable and unbelievable for viewers…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review, Mary Draughon
…This romantic comedy’s predictability and rather dull love story make it the cinematic equivalent of a slightly stale hamburger…
—USA Today, Claudia Puig
…a smart comedy about people doing not-so-smart things—in other words, being human…
—Sun Newspapers of Cleveland, Gerry Shamray