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
Remember Lucy Jordan? The tragic heroine of Shel Silverstein's 1975 ballad immortalized by Marianne Faithful? Think of this fabulous movie as of Lucy Jordan's life set in an alternate universe, a universe in which she doesn't kill herself at 37. Rather, she rides out her life as a radiant wife and a loving mother of two. Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) is about ten years older than Lucy Jordan at her time of dying. But her father-figure husband (Alan Arkin), many years her senior, isn't getting any younger, her kids are distant both physically and emotionally, and her friends are really not much help at all. As Pippa starts to lose it, a stranger (Keanu Reeves) comes to town. Writer-director Rebecca Miller, who is also an actress of some distinction, has composed an engaging tale that is touching, but never cheesy. There's a moment in one of the flashbacks when the story is about to take a Charlie Kaufman turn, but it doesn't. No regrets though. Outstanding performances by Robin Wright Penn as Pippa Lee, Blake Lively as her younger self, and Maria Bello as her mother. Guest appearance by Winona Ryder as Pippa's best friend Sandra. Stay for Lucinda Williams, whose 1978 classic "I lost it" is playing over the credits.
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