The recently divorced Uma Thurman is seeing therapist Meryl Streep as she tries to put her life back together. She meets Bryan Greenberg, sixteen years her junior, and falls for him. Streep encourages her to go for it, and then discovers that the object of Thurman’s affection is her son, whom she wanted to find a nice Jewish girl. Neither Thruman nor Greenberg know of their connection through Streep and carry on with their relationship, while Streep struggles to carry on with Thurman’s thera…y, forced to hear altogether more than she would like about her son.
Streep seems to be acting in a different movie from the other two leads. She’s great fun, but her performance is pitched broad, at times bordering on the slapstick, while the other two are in a much more sedate romance, whose tone is so slightly comic that it is often closer to drama. Thurman is terrific, and her turn gives the film a certain weight. The script does hit a few too many predictable road markers (though, on the other hand, they are also the logical impediments that would arise in these circumstances), and one is left wondering what all this really amounts to. One is also painfully aware that, were the genders of the actors reversed, nothing would be made of the age gap. Ain’t that right, Hollywood?
This is a disappointment. Oh, it’s clear enough, and there is no distortion. No audible flaws, in that sense, then. But if you like surround sound, treasure the Universal logo at the start of the film, because that, friends and neighbours, is that for the rest of the film. No rear speaker presence whatsoever. So we are left with a clear but profoundly unexciting and uninvolving soundtrack.
The picture is better. The image is sharp, and free of grain and edge enhancement problems. The colours are a bit drab and dirty in the opening establishing shots, but then become very strong and naturalistic. The contrasts and blacks are good, as are the flesh tones. It is as good and crisp a transfer as one would expect from a contemporary film, so can someone explain to me what happened to the sound?
On their commentary track, writer/director Ben Younger and producer Jennifer Todd are very pleasant, but at times don’t appear to have fully thought out what they were going to say when they sat down at the mike. The result is a bit slight. There are your usual outtakes and standard-issue making-of featurette, plus nine deleted scenes (in a single montage). The menu’s intro is animated and scored, and the main screen itself is simply scored.
It’s all very pleasant, and very New York, which is perfect for romantic comedy settings, but it’s hardly going to set the world on fire.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurette
- Deleted Scenes