This paper provides a movie review for “Prime” (2005) by Ben Younger, starring Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, and Bryan Greenberg. It is a romantic comedy that gradually grows into a drama, as it reveals relationship between three main characters: a therapist, her younger son and her female patient. The plot is written in such manner that the viewer is introduced to the dramatic irony of the situation, and is captured by the subject of the movie. “Prime” is a wonderful example of the movie that depicts a professional activity of a therapist, thus it could be of interest to people connected to this area of expertise. This movie introduces the viewers to therapy sessions, and the way they are conducted in real life; it demonstrates the skills of the therapist and some challenges, especially ethical ones, that a professional should be aware of and be able to overcome them.

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Keywords: movie review, relationship, therapy, sessions, empathy, multicultural issues

Movie Review
The movie under analysis is “Prime” (2005) by Ben Younger, starring Meryl Streep (Dr. Lisa Metzger), Uma Thurman (Rafi Gardet), and Bryan Greenberg (David Bloomberg). It is a romantic comedy with elements of drama, based on the story of relations between a therapist (Lisa Metzger), her patient (Rafi Gardet, a 37 year old divorcee) and son of the therapist (David Bloomberg, a 23 year old guy). This movie shows modern New York with its active social events and idea that everything is possible. Besides, “Prime” is a vivid example of work of a therapist, depicting the stages of counselling and challenges that the expert could encounter (personal and ethical) during practice.

Dr. Lisa Metzger is a professional therapist who demonstrates empathy to her patient, Rafi Gardet, from the first minutes of “Prime”, while walking her through the rough after-divorce-period of life. The key ironic idea of the movie is concentrated within interpersonal relations between three characters, and the way the attitude towards the same situation differs depending on being aware of particular facts. Conducting therapy sessions for Rafi, Dr. Metzger inspires and encourages her to get into a love affair with a guy, David, who is 14 years younger of herself, providing arguments of possible positive effects such affair might have, and demonstrating Rafi her non-judgmental behavior. Her reaction to the same situation differs drastically when she acknowledges that David is not just a guy, but her own son. On one hand, Dr. Metzger faces an ethical challenge, whether to continue the therapy sessions with Rafi or not, and on the other hand, it is a personal challenge, because as a caring and overprotective mother, she wants her David to date and marry a Jewish girl of his age. The movie is built around this uneasy situation and the way they are trying to make things work out.

“Prime” is a great illustration to the 5 acknowledged stages of conducting a therapy session: 1) Establishing empathetic relationship, 2) Gathering all information required to define the problem, 3) Estimating goals, 4) Re-story and dealing with incongruities, and 5) Taking action. The scene of Rafi, being devastated and heartbroken, at a therapy session with Dr. Metzger, who listens to her carefully, shows her sympathy and reassures Rafi, bringing up the idea that there is the right time for everything. Dr. Metzger observes her patient, paying attention to particular details in Rafi’s stories, her gestures, behavior and manner of speaking. After Rafi meets David, who is 14 years younger of her, and they start their relationship, Dr. Metzger demonstrates her observation skills, and at once notices that some behavioral changes in Rafi took place, thus she alters the focus of session to the events that affected her patient. Lisa uses multiple focusing to make Rafi feel better about the situation with the guy, focusing on such positive factors of younger age as youth, body, eagerness, naiveté, and desire to learn something new, and rejecting Rafi’s arguments of him being more of a child than an adult man and feeling embarrassed of his age.

The multicultural and religious issues are reviewed in the movie, as Rafi and David are not of the same religious believes: Rafi is not that religious, while David is Jewish, and is under constant pressure of his family to marry a Jewish girl. Dr. Metzger discusses this issue both with her son and with Rafi, and again different circumstances change her opinion on the issue of religion: with Rafi religion doesn’t matter in love affair, while with David she argues that patients should have relationships within their respected faith, because religion is paramount in person’s life. The movie is filled with confrontation and it makes it very interesting to watch.

To conclude, “Prime” was a pleasant and enjoyable experience, as it provided a glimpse into professional activity of therapists and how sessions are typically conducted. Genuine act by Meryl Streep and convincing character by Uma Thurman made this movie particularly interesting, while David was a bit annoying. Watching professional behavior and patterns ‘on screen’ encourage future experts in the respective field to learn harder and to achieve more.