Release Date: March 2
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.
Girl gone mild
In The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Rebecca Miller adapts her novel of the same name, telling again the melodramatic story of its title character. Lee and her husband’s relationship has slowly fallen apart, and Miller takes us back in time to show what led to this loveless marriage with a much older man. A bifurcated plotline attempts to contrast the dullness of Lee’s current middle-class existence with what she once was—a runaway, a light S&M porn actress turned dancer/drug addict.
The story is somewhat fascinating, but suffers from a Forrest Gump-like tendency to reduce life to a series of highs and lows. Its schizophrenic form does more than just link with Lee’s psychological state; it also emphasizes the dullness of her current existence, in which there’s a lot of sitting around tables and arguing in a way sadly reminiscent of a Lifetime movie. This isn’t helped by the many two-dimensional characters and frequently dire acting (not all of it by Keanu Reeves). Miller is no Ingmar Bergman or Woody Allen, and her attempts to turn Lee’s story into high drama fall flat.