2005 - United States - 105 minutes
Director and Writer - Ben Younger
Internet Movie Database User Rating - 6.3/10 - Link to IMDb
My Rating - 5 of 5 Stars

I was on Amazon.com a few months back and ran across this DVD at a budget price. I remembered that I had enjoyed it, so I added it to my shopping cart. It has sat on my shelf since it arrived, but I pulled it out the other evening to watch. I was pleased that I had forgotten how good this romantic comedy really is.

Rafi Gardet (Uma Thurman) is a successful New York business woman who is just coming out of a divorce. She very much relies upon her therapist, Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep). By chance, Rafi meets David Bloomberg (Bryan Greenberg) to whom she is instantly attracted. There is one big problem - Rafi is thirty-seven, but David is only twenty-three. Rafi expresses her reservations as to entering a relationship with a much younger man, but Lisa advises her to go ahead for she feels Rafi needs some ego boosting after her divorce. The catch is that, before very long, Lisa discovers that the charming younger man is actually her son.

This situation would usually set up a silly comedy filled with adolescent sexual jokes and overboard overreactions by the principals involved, but writer/director, Ben Younger has crafted an adult comedy with realistic and thoughtful situations and problems for the three main characters.

David is a mature and thoughtful young man who wants to be an artist and is met with disapproval by his conservative Jewish family that wants him to pursue a more practical career. He is charming and intelligent and an excellent match for Rafi who is successful in business but still much of a novice when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex as she has spent nine years with a man who didn’t really appreciate her. Lisa is a conservative Jewish mother who wants her son to devote himself to a stable career, but she is also an insightful and informed therapist who understands that there are a myriad of possibilities in relationships between humans.

The only negative I have for the film is the presence of the kooky friend for the lead male character. This has become such a cliché in romantic comedies that it is tiresome to the point of regurgitation. This time the friend dates girls once and then goes to their houses and throws pies in their faces. Give me a break!

Along the way, this film gives the viewer many laugh-out-loud, thoughtful, and tearful moments. It is not a silly comedy, but a contemplative look at three realistic and very likeable characters.

Neil Turner
October 27, 2008