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Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The (DVD Review)

24 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 3/2/10
Screen Media
Box office $0.3 million
$27.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content, brief nudity, some drug material and language.
Stars Robin Wright, Alan Arkin, Blake Lively, Maria Bello, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci.

As a young ingénue tormented by a drug-addled mother (Maria Bello), title character Pippa Lee (deftly played by melancholic beauty Robin Wright) sought refuge with, and married, a successful book publisher (Alan Arkin) 30 years her senior.

Now, 50-year-old Pippa lives a perfunctory life in a retirement community with an 80-year-old husband (after three heart attacks) who bitterly opposes sitting around waiting to die.

Pippa, in turn, thinks she is going crazy attempting to unravel what one male friend (Mike Binder, formerly of “The Mind of the Married Man”) characterizes as her personal “enigma.” Meant as a compliment, to Pippa it’s code that she’s lost her identity.

Written and directed by Robin Miller (whose late father, playwright Arthur Miller, knew a thing a two about midlife crises), Private Lives juxtaposes Pippa’s younger years (skillfully played by endearing Blake Lively) with an unknown present/future.

Though disjointed at times, Private Lives attempts to find resolution, including reconnecting Pippa with a grown daughter (Zoe Kazan) and conveniently affording her the opportunity to indulge in personal fantasy: a tryst with recently divorced preacher/boy next store, played nonchalantly by Keanu Reeves (does he do it any other way?).

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