The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009) - Comedy, Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



After her much older husband forces a move to a suburban retirement community, Pippa Lee engages in a period of reflection and finds herself heading toward a quiet nervous breakdown.

IMDB: 6.4
Director: Rebecca Miller
Stars: Robin Wright, Alan Arkin
Length: 98 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 11 out of 50 found boring (22%)

One-line Reviews (37)

What happens in the film is a series of flashbacks to her childhood, her drug-tossed teenage years and how she coped with her wholly dysfunctional mother (Maria Bello), keeping her under her thumb until she launches into a life of discovery through her aunt (Robin Weigart) and partner (Julianne Moore), confusing her to the point that she ultimately marries the established publisher, Herb, a man who lacked passion, and now is stuck in a tedious life that makes her have nightmares and sleepwalk.

It might be my high standards or my ruthless elitism but I figured the title of the film must be kind of ironic; it is suggested that there are "private lives" within the one, dull suburban life that Pippa Lee finds herself stuck in.

The mother of Pippa and how she affected her daughter makes Pippa a fascinating protagonist.

Altogether an absorbing, intelligent film, with some highly satisfactory twists and surprises.

This film is a slow build, carried by Wright's performance, intelligent writing, and a shiny supporting cast--worth a slow-day viewing just to see what Bello, Arkin, Moore, Bellucci, and even Reeves, among others, do with their roles.

Enjoyable display of middle class problems .

As a simple, modest and self-aware telling of, quite middle class, problems it's fine and enjoyable.

And her husband, the boy next door, her lesbian aunt and girlfriend, her ugly children, and the rest of the characters in the milieu are all superficial and trite, with no apparent bearing on the issue, while the casting and acting is largely poor, and many of the scenes gratuitous, as if the author could not figure out what else to say.

There's a pretentious younger ladyfriend to the family played by Winona Ryder, there's a pretentious younger boyfriend-aspirant of Pippa's played by Keanu Reeves.

Enjoyable for Robin Wright and Alan Arkin.

And so a rather ponderous voice over begins where Pippa tells about the highlights, and lowlights, of her life to date.

Robin Wright Penn gives a stunning portrayal of a woman who seems to say more with a smile than with her words.

The story quite simple about Pippa's life from childhood to empty nest and is told in flashbacks that aren't too hard to follow.

The pacing is a little tedious in the beginning and at times it may appear as though the movie isn't going anywhere.

The cinematography is good, particularly the time transitions, but all in all, another pointless film that says more about Hollywood, or suburban New York, where it is set, than about real people.

I find "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" boring and not engaging.

As flawed as it is, 'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee' is an intriguing character study.

The retirement living infects the movie and makes it feel like slow emptiness.

A lovely low budget film, where the actors carry the plot with superb performances especially from Robin Wright - luminous and engaging, who really shows her prowess as an actress to lend such scope to a simple role.

trite .

In the "30-years-ago" sequence, he is on top of the world but getting fed up with his voluptuous but eccentric wife while she is a delinquent young woman completely lost in the world of drugs and empty existence.

So, I got watch this one in a totally empty last session medium projection room.


That's the way it should be, for an entertaining and thought-provoking (in a light way) movie.

I find nothing wrong with finding a movie like this, one that is finally enjoyable, fun to watch, a bit zany and doesn't bark of typical Hollywood.

More than a little predictable, sometimes telegraphically so, and even the clever quips or sight-gags are a little too soft, a little too slow in coming.

Empty lives means those that create nothing?

But the cast , especially Robin Wright Penn, is exemplary and in the end the film is fairly entertaining.

And the film is about surrounding multiple conceptions of loneliness, of spiritual emptiness, of empty goals.

Since the film portrays a woman who is rather dull, it unfortunately suffers from a lack of passion as well.

On repeated viewing it's still an amazing film and whilst it hasn't had such a profound effect as the first time, it's still something that is gripping, affecting and impressive.

Stunning Film .

While they may be bit roles, each play an important part in the formation of the Pippa character, especially Monica Bellucci as Herb's ex-wife, in a sequence that's quite shocking and unexpected, contributing to the key guilt factor that Pippa finds herself shouldering.

Character drama about an uninteresting character .

She feared getting fat, so one way to cope with that was her "medicine", speed, which made home life for Pippa unbearable, resulting in her leaving home before she was grown up.

Some of the party scenes at the seaside pad, more languid than this moment, almost evoke Fellini.

The cast is intriguing.