With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.
The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
Pippa Lee feels dislocated when she and her husband Herb move from Manhattan to a retirement community. He's older than she, they have two children who are young adults, and the daughter hardly speaks to Pippa. Pippa tells us about her life, in long flashbacks, starting with her birth to a mom who was a social dynamo and addicted to pills. As a teen, Pippa moves out and lives a hippie life until meeting Herb, who was then married to a young siren. Pippa discloses tragedies and discoveries. In the present, she's sleepwalking at night and talking from time to time with a burned-out case, the 35-year-old son of a neighbor. Can Pippa connect? Written by
[after leaving hospital where her adulterous husband who wanted a divorce has been declared brain-dead, she is sitting in bed with Chris, eating french fries after having climbed through his window]
So... it's official, nobody needs me anymore.
See more »
Rebecca Miller's story of Pippa Lee is about a quiet nervous breakdown that a woman experiences in her stale marriage while she looks back to her unstable past. Most of the film is seen through the protagonist's point of view and Miller has done a great job in defining the character and presenting the moments in her life that are perceived as being important to her. The lines are of a few words but they reveal a lot.
The same could be said about the impressive cast. Robin Wright Penn does a superb job in the title role whereas her younger counterpart Blake Lively doesn't convince much. Maria Bello is excellent as Pippa's drug addict mother Suky. Alan Arkin is the usual. Keanu Reeves is an odd casting choice as his character is supposed to be at least a decade younger than Pippa but Reeves barely looks a year younger than Wright Penn. His acting seems to have improved. Julianne Moorse, Monica Bellucci and Winona Ryder are outstanding in their sequences of a few minutes.
Arguably, 'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee' isn't plot laden but this is more a character-driven piece than anything else. I'm glad Miller didn't put too much focus on the flashback scenes with young Pippa because the core of the story is about a woman going through a quiet nervous breakdown.
This isn't a film that would appeal to everybody. The pacing is a little tedious in the beginning and at times it may appear as though the movie isn't going anywhere. I also thought the sudden change in Pippa's personality (when she catches her husband with X), was a little drastic and especially how she suddenly sees herself free of the guilt.
As flawed as it is, 'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee' is an intriguing character study. The movie is mainly lifted by strong performances and the unconventional humour provides some good comic relief.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?