Picks and Pans Review: Prime

updated 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

ROMANTIC COMEDY

Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, Bryan Greenberg

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Streep can be more comically expressive with a single raise of an eyebrow, flick of a finger or shift of a hip than many peers are with their faces, limbs and torsos combined. But she needs to marshall all her prodigious skill to breathe life, not to mention verisimilitude, into this wobbly comedy about a heated affair between two Manhattanites, 37-year-old newly divorced Rafi (Thurman) and 23-year-old David(Greenberg).

Streep portrays David's overprotective Jewish mother, who also happens to be Rafi's longtime therapist. Once Rafi, who's not Jewish, starts dating David, Mom figures out pretty quickly that it's her very own Sonnyboy whose sexual capabilities Rafi is extolling. What's a mother to do?

Prime is amusing for a while, and then it's not. It goes on too long, becomes ever more sitcom-like and fails to develop its supporting characters. Streep, though flirting with playing a stereotype, is at least funny. Thurman has lovely moments as a woman flustered over love. And Greenberg, as the seriously cute object of her affections, displays an awkward charm. But prime Prime ain't. (PG-13)

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