— by JASON EAKEN —
If there is a more skippable movie out this year than “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” someone please let me know. It’s not that it was made by untalented people — the cast boasts Robin Wright, Julianne Moore, Maria Bello and Alan Arkin. It’s not that it looks bad. It’s that it looks bland — oh so bland!
It was written and directed by Rebecca Miller (daughter of Arthur Miller, wife of Daniel Day-Lewis, maker of “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”). It’s based on her own novel, and maybe it’s a case of too much personal involvement. The movie looks tacky, time periods slapping us in the face with their retro-ness, actors delivering lines so cheap they must have been bought in bulk. “To be perfectly honest, I’ve had enough of being an enigma. I want to be known.” “Like many people, I have lived more than one life. So, we’re going to have to start at the beginning.”
Maybe these words work in the novel — I doubt it, but maybe — but they don’t work coming out of characters’ mouths, even as narration. The movie and everyone in it so clearly know it’s about a woman rediscovering herself, that what’s the point of making it? The destination is known, but so is the journey. You’ve already seen this movie before, so why see it again? Will Robin Wright be nominated? Oh, maybe for a Golden Globe, it’s a weak year.
Am I wrong here? Is there a market for this that I’m not realizing? A book club in some small town somewhere? Perhaps. To me, “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” seems like a movie made by bored people with nothing else to do. They should have gone to see a better movie instead of making this one.
Also starring Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, Winona Ryder and Blake Lively, “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” is due in theaters starting Nov. 27 in limited locations.
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