I'm not sure what's sadder: the fact that it seems highly unlikely that Uma Thurman will ever be given the opportunity to top her work in the Kill Bill films, or that, until Quentin Tarantino put her in a track suit and taught her how to decapitate mobster/geishas, she never seemed to matter much in the first place. Uma – always Uma, never Thurman, because by god, a name like that only exists to demand first-name basis – never showed much promise when it came to "acting". In fact, in most of her films, she seems to set forth her lines in a tenor of panic, as though, which each new statement, she's finding it harder to hide the fact that she doesn't actually understand the words.
Not that it matters – like any of the really good stars, there is a kind of alchemy to the way her features arrange themselves on screen. When Uma Thurman is shot from the right distance, with the correct lens, her flat deliveries and wandering tones of voice become, if not believeable, then a nuisance that it doesn't seem difficult to ignore. That girl – those features, that brain – this is where the combination of the big screen TV and the mute button find their ideal simultaneous application. We're bound to come full circle back to pure cinema eventually, and with that in mind, Uma Thurman really is ahead of her time. Some day, not too long from now, you'll be able to sit in your seat in a public theater and be able to control the experience just as though you were sitting at home on the couch with a beer between your knees; for Uma, unfortunately, that day will probably come too late.
Prime, directed by Ben Younger from his own screenplay, doesn't deviate from the Uma playbook, although from her first, against-type appearance within its frames – tear stained cheeks, dank ponytail, eyes lined with as much baggage as they're ever going to see – it holds out false hope. She plays a 37 year-old recent divorcee who finds something like love with a scrappy stud of a painter (Bryan Greenberg) – who happens to be both her therapist's son, and her junior by fourteen years. If it sounds like it's an improbable lot for one relationship to handle, that's only because it is. Younger may be on to something here: he actually writes his film out of any one genre categorization by throwing his characters, over and over again, at the brick wall of genre cliche. That's actually an assesment of some generosity; it's pretty clear that whatever Younger is on to, it's a lucky accident when it comes across. Prime actually bears every mark of an auteur work gone wrong, a personal film muddled up by meddling and money that has forgotten what it wants to be.