The Private Lives of Pippa Lee - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 22, 2012
Very good movie which, I have to admit, I sat there bored through for the first 40 minutes. It was only when it got to the scene with the first wife that I started to understand the events that had shaped this dull-on-the- surface married woman.
Blake Lively is excellent as the younger Pippa, as is Robin Wright as the older one.
I really wished I had paid more attention by the end, I think this one deserves a rewatch and is the kind of movie that will grow on you as you find yourself thinking of it the next day. Subtle, but beautifully done.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2009
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee works as an involving high-end soap, the strong performances, writing and fractured chronology easing us past the more melodramatic twists.
Robin Wright performs naturally and makes her character hold more depth and presence then was imaginable. And Blake Lively performs her part so beautifully.
Believe me about Winona Ryder's character does remind me and looked familiar to her 1999's Girl, Interrupted character role - so impressive!
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2010
Loved the process... very interesting storyline and great acting from everyone.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2010
It was kinda good not a great movie but made it worth the while. What most interested me was how it was gonna end been such a unknown movie for me. Acting was decent from everyone except Robin Wright, she really took it up a notch and delivered big time on her role as Pippa Lee.

The film stars Robin Wright Penn, as Pippa Lee, and Allan Arkin as her husband Herb Lee.

The plot revolves around Pippas emotional issues that lead her toward an affair with Chris Nadeau (Keanu Reeves). Herb has also grown tired of the relationship, and is having heart problems.

In an interesting twist the plot flashes back to a younger Pippa played by Blake Lively, that gets spanked by a dominatrix named Kit (Julianne Moore). Pippa is involved in lesbian bondage films before having a torrid love affair with Herb, who helps her to get her life together.

There is also a rather dramatic scene where Gigi Lee (Monica Bellucci) points a gun at Pippa, and then ends up committing suicide. The scene is somewhat similar to the gun scene in Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona where Penelope Cruz goes into a violent rage.

Pippa Lee features outstanding performances by Robin Wright Penn, Allan Arkin, and Blake Lively. The film is well written and directed by Rebecca Miller.

Pippa Lee is a really good indie film that most Robin Wright Penn, and Blake Lively fans will enjoy.
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2009

At fifty, Pippa Lee positively glows with female serenity, the devoted wife of a brilliant publisher thirty years her senior, proud mother of successful twins and a lovely and adored friend and neighbor. But, when her husband spontaneously decides that they should leave New York for a retirement home as a "pre-emptive strike against decrepitude," and has an affair with someone even younger than she is, Pippa finds her beatific persona unraveling in alarming ways. The truth is, the gracious woman of the present day has seen more than her fair share of the wild side. She has finally found love and security in a family of her own. And now, that cozy world, too, is in danger.
What a great, well acted, and well done movie. I was intrigued with the story, and all of it's character's. Robin Wright Penn, was absolutely fantastic in this film. I was also impressed with Blake Lively. She was really good at portraying the younger self of 'Pippa Lee'. The movie is a roller coaster of emotions. It has you laughing, crying, and feeling extremely as mixed up as the main character. It brought me in and made me feel for the characters. Just one of the better films I have seen. Loved Maria Bello, in this. Thought she was amazing. Winona Ryder, was great as a very disturbed, depressed individual. It's like, I wanted to feel bad for her, but it was more comical for me then sad. Keanu Reeves, really gives a good performance too, which I haven't seen from him in a long while. Julianne Moore was awesome. Nice to see her doing something very different even if she's in the film for a short period of a time. I don't need to say how good and fabulous Alan Arkin, was. It is a given. He is always brilliant. Best performance since 'Little Miss Sunshine'. The movie has a strong female presence, but I think it's a great watch for all. Thought the balance between the past and the present was done smart. But that is what it ends up being, a smart movie. Definitely recommend it.
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2009
Ok, so this's way too nervy and unsettling for me. It's a neurotic without a reasoning behind it, and while some moments are pretty funny, and I never get tired of looking of Blake Lively's face, it's all so surface level to me. I kind of get what Rebec Miller is saying but just barely. Go learn some more lessons from your daddy, honey.
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2009
Showcase for mature female actors who must have leapt at the chance of the prime roles on offer here. Undoubtedly the role of Penn's distinguished career, she rises to the challenge of portraying a multilayered fully formed person with all the inconsistencies and peculiarities that entails. Even Reeves is on form, as is often the case when he isn't center stage. Don't overlook this sleeper hit.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2010
A fully engaging, thoughtful, character-driven tale of one woman's tumultuous life. The acting by Robin Wright Penn, as the grown-up Pippa, and Keanu Reeves, as the neighbor, Chris Nadeau, along with the rest of the cast, were exceptional. Blake Lively played the younger Pippa and brought a sweetness, and ethereal quality to the role. Zoe Kazan was not on screen for long, but she made her presence felt as Pippa's troubled daughter making her way as a photojournalist. Maria Bello nailed the bi-polar Suki Sarkasian, Pippa's mom, whose illness was accentuated by her abuse of drugs. The story investigates the generational divide in a way that was raw and very real. The relationship between Pippa and her mother, and then between Pippa and her daughter, exposed emotions in all four of the actresses that resonated with authenticity. The real surprise here was Reeves. Gone, was the slacker that he seems to have played ad infinitum. He brought complexity and a real rough edge to his role that indicates that just maybe he has grown up. This was a slice of reality. No sugar coating. No bland platitudes. Just raw, genuine pain and messy lives exposed to the world.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2009
"The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" is a thoughtful, yet insubstantial, character study that stretches its sleepwalking metaphor much too thin. Like its title character whose best moments come in surprisingly frank outbursts, the movie fails to live up to its potential, even with a very good cast.(And I can think of no better description of Keanu Reeves than "half baked.") The movie starts shortly after Pippa(Robin Wright Penn) moves to a retirement community in Connecticut after her older husband Herb(Alan Akin), a publisher, has suffered a series of serious heart attacks. That made me wonder since I thought most people would head to warmer climes for their retirement if they could but Pippa who selflessly takes care of everything at least unconsciously moved back to near where she grew up as part of a large family with a pill popping mother(Maria Bello). So, with much more free time on her hands than she normally would, with two grown children out of her hair, Pippa has started to rethink her life up to this point which on the surface might be a traditional path of first being cared for, then having children of her own and finally taking care of somebody in their old age. The difference in a Freudian twist is that it is a husband, not a father, she is caring for. So, in all of her life, she never had the time to truly discover herself until now.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2010
The performances are the only reason to check out this film. It needed a rewrite. It kind of reminded me of the film, The Hours. I didn't like the style of this film. The film is well casted and everyone delivers.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2010
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee may sounds like standard chick flick/lifetime movie stuff, but because of the strong cast and a few surprising twists, it rises above expectations for the genre. It is the kind of film that most critics desperately want to like. It focuses solely on a beautiful and exquisitely complicated woman (Robin Wright Penn) approaching her 50's, and it sports a great cast of big-name actors.

Pippa Lee (Penn), driven nearly crazy while a teenager by her neurotic mother (Maria Bello), finally runs away from home one day and dives straight into the netherworld of drugs and sex. Fed up with her decadent life, she meets Herb Lee (Alan Arkin), a suave publisher who's 30 years her senior, and they marry, have two kids, and live happily, if not ever after, at least for a good long while.

Now, some decades later, Herb's multiple heart attacks force the couple to sell their Manhattan apartment and move into a retirement community in Connecticut. Once Pippa meets bad-boy Chris (Keanu Reeves), however, she realises that she herself has no interest in retiring from anything.

The film's basic structure is to alternate between Pippa's present-day life as a suburban mum and her wild youth, but the transition are often awkward and the polar-opposite moods of each part tend to work against rather than reinforce each other.

The ultimate intent of the film seems to be to make some honest points about seeking one's own happiness rather than living for the sake of others, but it also wants to be outrageous and outrageously funny at the same time. Keanu Reeves has an appealing, low-key turn as the lost-soul son of Pippa's neighbor, and Blake Lively does a nice job as the young and wilder Pippa.The acting is top-notch, the direction is perky, the dialogues are quirky and a bit edgy, but overall it's frenetic and chaotic story about a fascinating woman.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2010
Subtle character film about Pippa Lee, respectable mother and wife with a messy past that is starting to leak into her current day life. Intelligently made and directed as you'd expect from the wife of Daniel Day Lewis and the daughter of Arthur Miller, no slouches at thoughfulness themselves. The dreamy atmosphere reminded me a little of Sofia Coppola films like LOST IN TRANSATION or THE VIRGIN SUICIDES
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2009
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a disappointing drama with an all-star cast. The story had no flow, annoying characters, plus it was dull and depressing most of the time. Only the performances of Arkin and Wright Penn, made it watchable, the rest of the cast were wasted.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2010
Strange is a good word for this movie.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2009
Not the kind of movie I would usually watch. Not so bad, though.
½ March 31, 2012
Keanu Reeves was better, but not by much. I think they could have found an "actor" for that part instead of him.
½ January 23, 2012
One of those funky independent kinda movies, though. Not all that feel-good, but somewhat epiphany-inducing, at least for me.
November 23, 2009
It's a story we have all seen before -- the mid-life crisis movie. What raises this one above the others is the performance of Robin Wright Penn. She is married to a much older man and she moves with him to a retirement community and the film centers on herself coming to terms with this and herself. At once rather selfish, she is now pretty self-less. The story is told in flash back and all of the dots are connected to get the viewer up-to-speed with Pippa's life. We see what she experienced as a teenager with her mother (the always good Maria Bello), her aunt (Deadwood's excellent Robin Weigert) and others (the glorious Monica Bellucci and Julianne Moore) through a revelatory performance by Blake Lively (the CW's Gossip Girl -- this girl can act). It is a good movie; not great. I wanted it to be more; but in the end I think I was satisified because the feeling I got from it is exactly what Pippa Lee would want. As long as you're not asking for too much it'll all be okay. Pippa Lee left me content.
½ August 10, 2011
This film had too many ambitions, too many symbols, and and too much of everything all at once. It was a disorganized, disarrayed chaos of age, love, romance, youth, parents, children, drugs, hate, and etc. etc. etc. There was no object and no conclusion, which is really a rather frustrating type of movie to watch for an hour and forty minutes. The only saving grace was the casting, which was actually done quite well. I feel as if I didn't get to know many of the more minor characters as well as I wanted to.
½ August 10, 2010
The reason why I wanted to see this movie was that I wanted to see Blake Lively's performance, but the movie seemed so boring that I could only last a few minutes.
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