The Private Lives of Pippa Lee fails to engage

PUBLISHED: 12:18 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 07 September 2010

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (15) Director Rebecca Lee Starring Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Blake Lively, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Maria Bello. 98 mins HHIII There s always something reassuring about seeing Alan Arkin in a film, you always know

The Private Lives of

Pippa Lee (15)

Director Rebecca Lee Starring Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Blake Lively, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Maria Bello. 98 mins

HHIII

There's always something reassuring about seeing Alan Arkin in a film, you always know where you are with him. I felt that more than ever here, as I tried to get a grip on this vacuum packed drama about the creation of a high brow Stepford Wife, because this is very much a woman's film, though it's probably bad form to say that.

Robin Wright Penn is the title role, a 50-year-old woman who finds herself questioning the value of her happy life having recently moved into a retirement home alongside her husband Herb (Arkin), a successful publisher who is considerably older.

The film has a double-barrelled narrative with her flashing back to her awkward childhood with her controlling mother Suky (Bello) and her wild teenage self (Lively).

Towards the end these two incarnations of the lead characters finally come together in a way the film never does.

Mostly Miller's adaptation of her own novel is intelligent, witty and classy yet at crucial points it offers up trite dramatic conclusions.

Just as Pippa becomes disengaged from her existence, the film keeps

its distance.


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