The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Movies Reviews Rebecca Miller
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Release Date: Nov. 27 (limited)
Director/Writer: Rebecca Miller
Cinematographer: Declan Quinn
Starring: Alan Arkin, Robin Wright Penn, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Maria Bello, Blake Lively
Studio/Run Time: Screen Media Films/98 mins.

This bifurcated plotline is an attempt to contrast the dullness of Lee’s current bourgeois existence with what she used to be. Lee’s husband fell in love with her because she was such a free spirit, running away from home at a young age to live with her lesbian aunt, then becoming embroiled in a light S&M pornography ring and eventually bottoming out as a sometime dancer, full-time drug addict. It’s a somewhat fascinating tale, even if it suffers from the Forrest Gump-like tendency to reduce life to no more than a series of highs and lows. It’s not a new story, but it’s relatively well-told and frequently engaging despite some wooden characters and no surprises in sight. 

not all of it is from Keanu Reeves. 

Pippa Lee’s prestige-y attempts at greater meaning end up killing the movie, keeping it from having too much fun or pulling out more depth from its characters. At one and a half hours long the movie still feels either horribly incomplete, due to missing emotional development, or extremely lengthy, due to how little there is to jump an audience away from what it already assumes. In either case, the only person left surprised as the credits roll and Lee rides off into the sunset with the man of her dreams is Lee herself. The rest of us could’ve left halfway through and told you that’s exactly how the film would end.

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