Release Date: October 28th, 2005 by Universal Pictures.
The Cast: Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, Bryan Greenberg, Jon Abrahams, Adrian Biasi, David Younger, Palmer Brown, Zak Orth.
Directed by Ben Younger.
BASIC PREMISE: Rafi (Thurman), 37, falls in love with David (Greenberg), the 23-year old son of her shrink, Lisa (Streep).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Meryl Streep shines in every single one of her scenes in this charming romantic comedy. In a way, she excels in two roles at once: one, as a shrink and, another, as an overbearing Jewish mother. The plot begins quite serious as Rafi discusses her love life with Lisa during a session and tells her how she met her new younger boyfriend—although she never mentions his name. Lisa figures out that her new boyfriend is her son when Rafi starts to describe his aspirations. She cares more about the fact that Rafi is not a Jew than her age difference. One of the most hilarious scenes is when she reacts with her eyes and facial expression to the implication that she’s treating her son’s girlfriend—at one point, she unintentionally gives her a book called Lesbians and the Kabala. Back at home, Lisa tries to control her son’s life by ignoring his passion for art and having an inter-cultural relationship. The details about David’s life make him into a real character, from his bad habits down to his sexual life. Rafi looks beautiful and charming, but other than the fact that she’s a model, there aren’t as many details about her character. Nonetheless, in their scenes together, Rafi and David do have chemistry. The shooting locations include familiar and attractive places around New York City. Most scenes lack a musical score, which gives them an independent, art-house quality which enhances the realism. There are a few clichés, such as David struggling with selling his paintings, but, for the most part, the characters are not only likeable and realistic, but the script feels refreshingly real without pushing the envelope.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Lisa has good intentions as a mother, but she fails to respect his son’s individuality. Inter-cultural relationships are not uncommon nowadays, especially in the cultural melting pot of New York City. Despite his mother’s disapproval, David continues to date his non-Jewish girlfriend. Ultimately, they all learn something about themselves and how to deal relationships—whether it’s mother/son or boyfriend/girlfriend. In an interesting scene, Lisa sees her own shrink to discuss her own problems. Nobody is perfect, but it is never too late to learn from your experiences. The ending is satisfying because it’s both subtle and true-to-life.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A few clichés.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: A well-written, funny and smart romantic comedy. Meryl Streep shines!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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